What Congress can do about mass incarceration
America’s justice system is broken. Our prisons lock up millions of people, ruin lives, fail to make our communities safer, and waste $80 billion a year.
People of color bear the brunt of this injustice, but there’s finally a real chance to make change.
Comprehensive legislation to make significant changes to our criminal justice system was recently introduced in Congress, and has already earned support from legislators on both sides of the aisle. The Safe, Accountable, Fair, Effective (SAFE) Justice Act offers broad based, system-wide reforms to dismantle our unjust prison system.1 But Congressional leaders are dragging their feet, refusing so far to schedule any hearings or votes on the bill.
On Tuesday, President Obama called out the racial disparities and terrible conditions in our criminal justice system and called on Congress to make change.2 With the president ready to sign a bill, and bipartisan support for substantive reforms, now is the time for Congress to act.
Tell Congress to pass the SAFE Justice Act and roll back America’s incarceration industry.
The SAFE Justice Act brings solutions that have proven successful at the state level to the federal prison system. It would reduce over-criminalization, offer sentencing alternatives, reward good behavior with shorter prison and parole time, and support individuals’ reentry into society.1
If we let the current system continue unchecked, millions of people will continue to be criminalized, millions of dollars will continue to be wasted, and communities of color will continue to be crippled. We're working with our friends at #cut50's JusticeReformNOW campaign to implement needed reforms now. The more of us who sign on, the more pressure we can put on Congress to get the SAFE Justice Act on President Obama’s desk by the end of 2015.
Together, we can pass historic federal legislation and end the vicious cycle of suffering mass incarceration has caused.
Thanks for everything you do,
- “SAFE Justice Act Would Apply Lessons From State Reforms to Federal Sentencing and Corrections System,” Pew Trusts, 6/25/2015.
- “Obama looks beyond commutations in justice reform bid,” Kevin Liptak, CNN, 6/15/2015.