Criminal Justice Reform

Last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 – a sweeping bill that committee chairman Chuck Grassley has called the “most significant criminal justice reform in a decade.” Grassley (R-Iowa) was previously a strong opponent of sentencing reform, but a concerted advocacy effort on the part of the faith community and other partners helped to change his mind.

The bill passed with a strong bipartisan vote of 15-5 and is supported by the White House, the Justice Department, police chiefs across the country, faith-based organizations, and many other advocates for fairer sentencing and prison reform. This legislation is a positive first step towards greater fairness in sentencing, reducing recidivism, focusing on successful re-entry to society, and creating an efficient, cost-effective prison system.

This bill is one of the few bipartisan efforts that appears to have a likelihood of becoming law. A similar bill has been introduced in the House Judiciary Committee by Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA). This bill provides hope that Congress can bridge divides and pass much needed criminal justice reform. Please click here to urge your legislators to support criminal justice reform.