Oct 11, 2018

Now is the time for Criminal Justice Reform

Post by Freedom Partners

The U.S. criminal justice system was created to keep communities safe, punish criminals in proportion to the crime committed and give deserving people second chances.

But for the last 30 to 40 years, the system has instead been a huge barrier to opportunity. Taxpayers are spending billions on a criminal justice system that doesn’t make our communities safer or provide those second chances.

The Senate is considering the FIRST STEP Act, a bill that focuses on rehabilitation. The House passed it with bipartisan support. But it is, as the name implies, a first step. It is not a comprehensive solution.

We still have a long way to go. The time to act is now.

Freedom Partners Chairman Mark Holden breaks down criminal justice reform, the problems the current system presents and what can be done about it in the videos below.

“In our country, if you’re rich and guilty, you get a much better deal than if you’re poor and innocent.”

  • The average state prisoner will be re-arrested five times after he or she leaves prison.
  • Prisons should offer programs that make people better, but the current system is set up for perpetual failure.
  • The proper role of a criminal justice system is to enhance and protect public safety and to give people second chances.

 

“Our criminal justice system is yet another failed big-government program.”

  • Nearly half of federal inmates are non-violent drug offenders.
  • There are 10 times the number of people with mental illnesses in prison than there are in mental institutions.
  • More than 75 percent of formerly incarcerated individuals are rearrested within five years of being released.
  • About 97 percent of inmates are eventually released.
  • The U.S. criminal justice system costs taxpayers more than $250 billion each year.

 

“We think our system needs to go back to what it was supposed to do.”

  • The U.S. criminal justice system was created to punish people in proportion to the crime committed and rehabilitate them.
  • Major criminal justice reform actions have been taken at the state-level — with success.
  • If formerly incarcerated individuals are equipped with vocational skills, they are less likely to reoffend. This keeps families together and communities safer.

 

It’s Time for Lawmakers to Act on Meaningful Criminal Justice Reform

A recent survey shows 70 percent of likely voters think the Senate should pass the FIRST STEP Act. Americans are ready for their lawmakers to make communities safer, save tax dollars and give deserving people the second chance they deserve.

There is bipartisan support in Washington for criminal justice reform. Action at the state-level has proven reform works. It’s up to lawmakers to effect meaningful criminal justice reform.

The time to act is now.