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Blog

Coronavirus and Criminal Justice Reform: How and Why to Be Smart on Crime During a Public Health Crisis

For decades, our nation has been over-incarcerating individuals who run afoul of the law in a number of different ways. Oftentimes, the things that individuals run afoul of and are incarcerated for should either not be criminal laws at all, or should not be punished criminally to the degree that they are.

05/14/2020
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Blog

Criminal Justice Reform: Real Momentum Continues

Last week, President Trump extended clemency to nearly a dozen Americans. Much contention has arisen around those who he chose to pardon and commute the sentences of, but there are a few simple truths that undergird the whole process and remain true, no matter who clemency is given to. Chief among these is that, in order to pursue justice, prison sentences should be no more excessive than necessary to fit the crime -- That is, to provide proper measures for punitive purposes, for any victims’ purposes, and importantly for rehabilitative purposes.

02/28/2020
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Statement in Response to Pardons and Commutations Issued by President Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to the decision today by President Trump to exercise his power to grant pardons and commutations, Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks’ President, commented:

02/18/2020
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Blog

Support the Clean Slate Act, H.R. 2348

On behalf of FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to support the Clean Slate Act, H.R. 2348. Introduced by Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), the Clean Slate Act would create an automatic sealing process for certain federal criminal records, including simple arrests without conviction, and a streamlined petition process for sealing other criminal records to promote successful reentry into society. The bill does not apply to sex offenders or violent offenders.

04/24/2019
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Blog

Criminal Records Still Plague Reentry for Rehabilitated Offenders

As Congress reflects on its success in passing the First Step Act at the end of 2018, it must look toward ways to build on the existing momentum. The First Step Act was constructed to shift our justice system toward ensuring that we are incarcerating the right people for the right amount of time and that while people are incarcerated, our correctional system is using resources wisely to rehabilitate inmates. It makes steps toward reentry initiatives following incarceration by reauthorizing the Second Chance Act but leaves much still to be done in the space of breaking down barriers to reentry to allow rehabilitated inmates to be successful in society.

02/22/2019
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Blog

Support the Fair Chance Act, H.R. 1076 and S. 387

On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and representative and ask them to support the Fair Chance Act, H.R. 1076 and S. 387. Introduced by Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), this bipartisan legislation would aid prisoner reentry into society and lower crime rates, by delaying inquiries into criminal history for federal job and federally contracted applications until the conditional offer stage.

02/11/2019
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Blog

Florida Needs Its Own First Step on Justice Reform

Following the enactment of transformative federal criminal justice reform legislation, the First Step Act, Congress and states have the green light to continue -- or, in many cases, start -- down this path. By bringing the tough-on-crime mentality in alignment with smart-on-crime approaches, state and federal justice systems can enhance public safety and fairness by reducing crime while simultaneously reducing prison populations nationwide.

01/25/2019
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Key Vote

Key Vote Alert on the Cotton-Kennedy Amendment to the First Step Act

As noted on our key vote alert for the First Step Act, FreedomWorks reserved the right to score any related votes including amendments. Accordingly, we will be scoring on our 2018 Congressional Scorecard vote(s) on the Cotton-Kennedy amendment to the legislation, which includes three divisions of deceitfully crafted poison pills each intended to harm the legislation and upset the supermajority support for criminal justice reform in the Senate.

12/18/2018
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Issue Analysis

Separating Facts from Fiction on the First Step Act

Originally published on November 21, 2018. Last revised on December 3, 2018.

11/21/2018
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Blog

Florida's Amendment No. 11 is Necessary to Address Over-Incarceration

As the 2018 midterm elections approach, voters in all 50 states will cast their ballots for members of Congress and many will cast their ballots for senators. Some ballots will also include measures independent of the national elections. These are, for example, gubernatorial races, as well as ballot initiatives to amend state constitutions.

10/03/2018

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