Why Republicans and Democrats Both Support Criminal Justice Reform
WASHINGTON, D.C.--Both Democrats and Republicans are determined to pass criminal justice reform. Some of the is happening this week and next and other parts may happen in the next Congress, next year. Some of the potential new laws focus on lighter sentences for non-violent offenders.
One piece of legislation passed the Senate Tuesday, 87-12, with strong support from both parties. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), was a cosponsor of the bill.
“The First Step Act will make needed reforms to our criminal justice system to reduce recidivism, create fairer sentencing requirements, and prepare inmates to be successful members of society," said Young.
The bill helps increase prison security, but also makes it easier for judges to hand down lighter sentences to people who are not violent, like drug users, not dealers. It could save you tax money, with fewer people in prison.
"I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation, and I will continue working with Indiana stakeholders to ensure that it accomplishes its goal creating a fairer and more effective criminal justice system, and ensuring non-violent inmates become successful law-abiding citizens when they return to society.”
Young urged members of the House to pass the legislation when they take it up next week.
Recidivism is when people who have been in prison offend again. More legislation is on the way next year. Rep. Andre Carson )D-Ind.), said he plans on re-introducing his Recidivism Reduction Act.
"Unfortunately because they've had this bad mark and this unfortunate time in their lives, they're having to constantly pay, even though they've personally changed," said Carson.
"One of those bills I plan on re-introducing is the Recidivism Reduction Act, that will allow those persons who may have received benefits because of a disability, it would allow those benefits to kick in immediately. Folks who are released, if they're waiting on benefits in three months to possibly six months, worst case scenario possibly a year, it opens up the door for people to recidivate back into a life of crime."
Carson said repeat offenders increase the incarceration rate and make people question the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.