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Congress Should Pass Criminal Justice Reform

November 17, 2015
"A few weeks ago, a remarkable thing happened in Congress. A bipartisan group of senators introduced a substantive criminal justice reform bill that stands a good chance of passage in the coming months," writes The Sentencing Project's Federal Advocacy Counsel Jeremy Haile in the Courier-Journal.

“A few weeks ago, a remarkable thing happened in Congress. A bipartisan group of senators introduced a substantive criminal justice reform bill that stands a good chance of passage in the coming months,” writes The Sentencing Project’s Federal Advocacy Counsel Jeremy Haile in the Courier-Journal.

The bipartisan legislation — the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act — would not solve all of the problems in our overcrowded federal prison system, but it would be a good start.

First, the legislation would reduce our over-reliance on mandatory minimum penalties, allowing judges to make distinctions between the “kingpins” of the drug trade and those whose involvement is only at the street level. In recent decades, these penalties have been imposed on too many minor players in the drug trade.  The result has been enormous costs — both fiscal and human – with limited benefit to public safety.

Second, the bill would provide incentives and opportunities for federal prisoners to participate in rehabilitative programming.  Every year, thousands of individuals are released from federal facilities without the resources they need to be successful.  The bill would authorize evidence-based treatment and training programs that are proven to reduce the risk that an individual will commit another offense following release.

Read the full commentary in the Courier-Journal.

 
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