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Corrections Should Focus on Fair Sentencing and Rehabilitation to Make Communities Safer

Today the Coalition for Public Safety kicked off its Fair Sentencing and Fair Chances National Tour with a panel of distinguished advocates for criminal justice reform efforts. The diverse group of organizations included in the panel ranged from participants associated with the ACLU to Americans for Tax Reform. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) headed the discussion by presenting their personal interests and efforts in achieving meaningful reform with the nation’s justice system.

09/17/2015
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Sharanda Jones' story is an example of everything wrong with the United States' draconian sentencing policies

Sharanda Jones made a poor decision. She was connected to a drug ring in Kaufman County, Texas and, in November 1997, was arrested along with dozens of others. This was her first arrest, and she was a nonviolent offender. She was charged by the federal prosecutors with six counts of possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy. In August 1999, Jones was acquitted of the six possession charges, but she was convicted on the conspiracy charge.

09/02/2015
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Op-ed Placement

The case for justice reform in Alaska

BY Jason Pye and Jorge Marin

For 30 years, America’s correctional policies put more people in prison and kept them there longer. This practice made our country the world’s most enthusiastic jailer by far. We have roughly 2.3 million people behind bars today, or nearly one in every 100 American adults.

09/02/2015
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Federalism in Action: How Conservative States Got Smart on Crime

Justice reform has become a hot topic on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress from both parties are pushing for substantive reforms that would bring rehabilitative programs to the federal corrections system, modify out-of-date sentencing laws, make communities safer, and reduce burdens on taxpayers. But reform would not be possible if conservative states had not previously paved the road.

08/24/2015
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Senate hearing highlights the movement toward justice reform

Shortly before adjourning for the August work period, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing in which members began a review the United States' justice system and heard testimony from witnesses about the problems facing the federal prison system. The hearing was billed as the first of many to take a look at these issues.

08/19/2015
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Congress is closer than ever to enacting justice reform

The House of Representatives has already adjourned for the August recess. The Senate is expected to finish up its business this week before members leave Washington. The recess will not be a quiet one for members. They are gearing up for several tricky legislative initiatives and battles when they return in September, among which will be justice reform.

08/05/2015
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Justice reform can happen this year, and grassroots conservatives should lead the charge

Over the past several weeks, President Barack Obama has increasingly spoke of the need to reform the United States' justice system. In mid-July, for example, he spoke at the NAACP's annual convention in Philadelphia and called for reform of costly and unjust mandatory minimum sentences and, later, appeared at a federal prison in Oklahoma to further emphasize the need to overhaul the justice system to lower repeat offender rates.

07/30/2015
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Conservative states focused on reducing repeat offender rates to disrupt the cycle of crime and save taxpayers money

It is easy to look at the decline in violent crime rates and believe that lengthy prison sentences mandated by Congress were the catalyst. Unfortunately, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley recently made this utterly misleading argument. But as the Brennan Center for Justice explained in a February 2015 study, crime rates fell because of "various social, economic, and environmental factors, such as growth in income and an aging population." Lengthy sentences that contributed to the sharp rise of prison populations had very little to do with it.

07/27/2015
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Conservatives have proven that justice reform lowers crime rates and keeps communities safe

Last week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave his support to the SAFE Justice Act, a comprehensive bill that would make a number of significant and substantive changes to federal sentencing and prison policies that have contributed the boom in federal corrections spending. Boehner's support is the most recent and, perhaps, most notable example of the growing consensus on Capitol Hill for justice reform.

07/23/2015
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The SAFE Justice Act would bring groundbreaking reforms enacted by conservative states to the federal government

Thursday was a huge day for anyone following the debate and movement on justice reform, the interest in which has grown substantially in recent days. Out of nowhere, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave his support for, perhaps, the most comprehensive justice reform bill proposed in the current Congress.

07/17/2015

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