Saturday, January 30, 2016

Criminal Justice Reform at Forefront of 2016 Agendas

In the first minute of his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on members of Congress to “work together this year on bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform.” The remark was a nod to the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, which is pending before Congress. In an op-ed following the speech for The Guardian, Inimai Chettiar wrote it was “unprecedented” for a president “to stand before the American people and call on Congress to pass legislation to reduce imprisonment.”

Last week, more than 70 police chiefs and prosecutors wrote to congressional leaders urging passage of the bill. And yesterday, a congressional panel tasked with recommending ways to improve America’s federal corrections system suggested reforming mandatory minimum sentencing practices. Meanwhile, governors of IllinoisIowaNew York and New Jersey have all recently noted the need to change the criminal justice system. For example, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who is also running for the GOP presidential nomination, is making a push to steer nonviolent offenders toward drug treatment and away from imprisonment. Read more in The Wall Street Journal.

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