Updates from Capitol Hill

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The Justice Center’s government affairs team works to promote the priorities of CSG members and their partners on Capitol Hill and with the executive branch. Legislative services include educating policymakers on complex criminal justice issues and communicating project findings to legislators that can be applied to policymaking and new practices. The team collaborates with experts from a wide range of disciplines and from all branches of government to ensure that policy and legislative recommendations are practical and based on sound data.

U.S. Senate Approves 21st Century Cures Act

U.S. Senate Approves 21st Century Cures Act

Within the wide range of initiatives the omnibus bill supports are several significant criminal justice reform measures related to the issue of mental health, including the enactment of the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act and the reauthorization of the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act.

Opinion: Where Mental Health, Justice Reform Meet

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Fred Upton’s 21st Century Cures Act, which has been rightly hailed as a game-changer for medical innovation and patient empowerment. What is less well known, but equally pioneering, is the bill’s approach to mental health reform.

House Passes Bill to Improve Juvenile Justice System, Help Vulnerable Youth Find a Better Way

U.S. Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) praised the U.S. House passage of H.R. 5963, the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act. Introduced by Rep. Curbelo and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), the legislation reauthorizes and reforms the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to help state and local leaders better serve at-risk youth and juvenile offenders.

U.S. House Committee Advances Bill to Support Youth Opportunity, Improve Juvenile Justice System

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently approved H.R. 5963, the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act. Introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), the bipartisan legislation reauthorizes and reforms the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to help state and local leaders better serve at-risk youth and juvenile offenders. The bill passed unanimously by voice vote.

U.S. House Members Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve & Strengthen Juvenile Justice System

Democrat and Republican members of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently introduced the H.R. 5963 Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act. Sponsored by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), the legislation reauthorizes and reforms the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to help state and local leaders better serve at-risk youth and juvenile offenders.

Fact Sheets

The Second Chance Act: Juvenile Reentry (Fact Sheet)

The Second Chance Act: Juvenile Reentry (Fact Sheet)

Recent efforts among state and local leaders to reduce the number of youth who are incarcerated have yielded impressive results: the national juvenile incarceration rate has been cut in half over the past decade. Yet state policymakers, practitioners, and advocates alike recognize that reforming the juvenile justice system requires more than incarcerating fewer youth.

The Second Chance Act (Fact Sheet)

The Second Chance Act (Fact Sheet)

Nearly all of the 1.6 million individuals incarcerated in the U.S. will be released at some point. Individuals returning to their communities from prison or jail have complex challenges and needs that contribute to the likelihood that they may return to incarceration.

The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (Fact Sheet)

The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (Fact Sheet)

A 2006 Department of Justice study showed that approximately 45 percent of federal inmates, 56 percent of state inmates,and 64 percent of jail inmates displayed symptoms or had a history of a mental disorder; among female inmates in state prisons, the rate was nearly three out of four.

The Second Chance Act: Juvenile Reentry (Fact Sheet)

The Second Chance Act: Juvenile Reentry (Fact Sheet)

Recent efforts among state and local leaders to reduce the number of youth who are incarcerated have yielded impressive results: the national juvenile incarceration rate has been cut in half over the past decade. Yet state policymakers, practitioners, and advocates alike recognize that reforming the juvenile justice system requires more than incarcerating fewer youth.

Congress Sends First Major Opioids Bill to Obama’s Desk

The Senate recently approved a bill aimed at fighting opioid addiction, reaching the finish line on legislation that’s likely to be one of Congress’s top achievements this year. With the 92-2 vote, the bill now heads to President Obama’s desk after nearly a year of negotiations.

Legislation Brings Hope to Those Shattered by Addiction

Recently the U.S. House passed 18 bills to address the opioid epidemic. In March, the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. These bills reframe how this country handles addiction. The legislations finally recognize addiction as a disease and propose a comprehensive response that includes prevention, treatment, overdose reversal, recovery supports, law enforcement strategies and criminal justice reform.