Prison Opens Former Police Chief's Eyes to Ravages of Mandatory Minimums

People's lives destroyed for small amounts of drugs


Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, in his first interview since being released from prison on tax fraud and false statement charges, said prison opened his eyes to the "broken" justice system.

"These young men, they come into the prison system. First-time, non-violent offense, a low-level drug offense: The system is supposed to help them. Not destroy them," Kerik said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show that aired on Friday.

Kerik criticized the federal mandatory minimum system for putting people away for 10 years for 5 grams of cocaine, handing NBC's Matt Lauer a nickel.