...unless we reform our prison system and incarceration policies, says Senator Jim Webb in this stirring article first published in the Fredericksburg, Virginia Free Lance-Star.
It is in the interest of every American, in every community across this land, that we thoroughly re-examine our entire criminal justice system in a way that allows us to interconnect all of its different aspects when it comes to finding proper approaches and solutions to each component part. I am convinced that the most appropriate way to conduct this examination is through a presidential-level commission, tasked to bring forth specific findings and recommendations for the Congress to consider and, where appropriate, enact.
Since first introducing the National Criminal Justice Commission Act in 2009, my office has worked tirelessly to build the case for reform with groups from across the philosophical and political spectrum. Through these efforts, we have won the support of more than 100 organizations, including the National Association of Evangelicals, Prison Fellowship, the National Sheriffs' Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Sentencing Project, and the NAACP.
Many of these organizations, including a recent delegation of faith leaders and law enforcement representatives, have met with their elected representatives to voice support for the bill. We need to take a comprehensive look at our criminal justice system. As a nation, we can spend our money more effectively, make our communities safer, reduce the prison population, and create a fairer system.FAMM supports Senator Webb's bill to establish a review commission. We agree: having too many people in prison at too high a cost is not good for America. All of us pay -- in dollars and in other ways -- when the wrong person goes to prison, or goes to prison for too long, or doesn't get the proper treatment and intervention that will prevent future crimes.
It's not necessary to have a loved one in prison to be impacted by the issue of mass incarceration. All of us are already impacted -- we may just not realize it yet.