Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Criminal Justice Commission One Step Closer to Life

Progress on criminal justice reform in the U.S. House today. From the FAMM release...

FAMM Celebrates House Passage of Criminal Justice Commission Bill

WASHINGTON, July 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Julie Stewart, president and founder of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) commended the U.S. House of Representatives today for its approval of H.R. 5143, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2010. The vote comes three months after Ms. Stewart joined the bill's sponsors, sentencing reform advocates, and law enforcement officials to announce the bill's introduction.

"Today's vote shows Congress is aware that our nation's criminal justice system is in need of major repair," said Ms. Stewart. "With 2.3 million people in its jails and prisons, the United States has the highest incarceration in the world. One of out of 31 Americans is under some sort of correctional supervision – jail or prison, parole or probation. Brave though we may be, we are no longer the land of the free," continued Stewart.

"We know too much about crime and rehabilitation, and about what works and what doesn't work with regard to recidivism, to continue to mindlessly sentence minor offenders to long prison sentences and inflexible mandatory minimum penalties. The moral bankruptcy of such policies is now being compounded by the fiscal bankruptcy it is visiting upon the state and federal governments.

"We applaud the House for taking this enormous step, and we look forward to seeing this bill through until it reaches the president's desk before the 111th Congress adjourns," Ms. Stewart concluded.

If enacted, H.R. 5143 will create a bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the entire criminal justice system and offer concrete recommendations for reform within 18 months.

0 Comments: