(Washington D.C., Thursday, June 21, 2018) - Congress is currently working on passing comprehensive justice reform. Americaâ€™s criminal justice system is in desperate need of reformâ€”across all parts of the system.
A bipartisan group of Senators reintroduced the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 1917), an important justice reform package aimed at reducing some mandatory minimum sentences for people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses and curbing recidivism. The Senate Judiciary Committee reported the bill to the floor on February 15, 2018 where it is waiting for a vote.
On May 22, the House of Representatives passed a â€śbackend-onlyâ€ť bill, the FIRST STEP Act, which was opposed by many civil rights groups because it doesnâ€™t include sentencing provisions and wonâ€™t effectively address problems in that part of the system.
It is now in the hands of the Senate whether to consider an alternative version of the bill or the House bill, which fails to eliminate draconian mandatory minimum sentences, reduce racial disparities, address persistent overcrowding, expand rehabilitative programming, and cut the exorbitant costs of incarceration.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit civilrights.org.