Last week, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Wade Henderson co-authored an opinion article for National Review, stressing the opportunity with which Congress is presented to pass comprehensive, bipartisan criminal justice reform this year.
The 11 bills proposed in this criminal justice reform package offer responsible provisions to increase public safety, protect law enforcement, help crime victims, address issues with re-entry, and decrease the burden of taxpayers on upholding the prison system that is currently costly and ineffective.
They discussed the significance of Congress’s unique bipartisan support for the issue of criminal justice reform, citing sources that show about 70 percent approval for the initiative among both Republicans and Democrats. This figure depicted a win-win on both sides of the aisle in a controversial election year.
“Given all this success, you would say these policies have every chance of becoming law, right?” asked Norquist and Henderson. Unfortunately, they found that the issue is not that simple even though it should be.
Americans for Tax Reform, along with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the US Justice Action Network, called on Congress to step up and pass the single most bipartisan effort sitting on Capitol Hill.
Included in the reforms are important changes to intent standards in criminal law—a major policy priority for conservatives concerned with the overregulation of innocent every-day Americans.
“We have come too far to let a rare bipartisan effort like this die. Our country is ready to turn away from the discredited policies that exploded our prison populations and failed to give us the public safety we deserve. Our justice system should be a part of the solution to crime and its root causes. We can do better than using a one-size-fits-all sentencing regime that lumps nonviolent offenders with violent ones. And when some estimates have re-arrest rates for ex-offenders at 65 percent within three years, we cannot afford to continue the status quo. The reforms on the table would improve outcomes while ensuring that public safety is a top priority.”
Read the full article here, and urge your representatives in Congress to pass bipartisan criminal justice reform in 2016.