Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Senate Judiciary Committee Will Act of Criminal Justice Reform

Carrie Johnson at NPR is reporting that the Senate Judiciary Committee will act on criminal justice reform this week.
A bipartisan group of senators on the Judiciary Committee is preparing to unveil a criminal justice overhaul proposal as early as Thursday, two sources familiar with the deal told NPR...

The proposal will not go as far as some reform advocates may like, the sources say. For instance, the plan would create some tough new mandatory minimum sentences, after pressing from Grassley. It stitches together proposals that would allow inmates to earn credits to leave prison early if they complete educational and treatment programs and pose a relatively low risk to public safety along with language that would give judges some more discretion when sentencing nonviolent offenders.
She also reports on where things stand right now in the House.
In the House, meanwhile, Reps. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., are pressing their own legislation, known as the SAFE Justice Act. The two leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and John Conyers, D-Mich., are writing their own bills, staff members said.
Given the chaos that is being generated over funding for Planned Parenthood and the looming 2016 campaign, it's difficult to imagine that something will get done this session. But it's clear that the pressure is building to do so.

One element that is contributing to that pressure is the Vice episode that aired last Sunday titled "Fixing the System." If you don't have access to HBO, they have made the hour-long documentary available on youtube. I highly recommend that everyone watch it.

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