Updates from Capitol Hill

capitol

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.

First Step Act Glides Through House with Bipartisan Support

The U.S. House recently passed the FIRST STEP Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, sending the bill to the Senate. Introduced by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the prison reform bill, which also has the support of President Donald Trump, would lower recidivism and prison populations through rehabilitative programing.

Senator Tillis: Criminal Justice Reform Building Bipartisan Momentum

Passing the Justice Reinvestment Act in North Carolina wasn’t always a sure thing, especially since it initially faced a fair amount of skepticism from the right, with concerns that the bill was “soft on crime.” However, the more we educated members on the policy, the more support we built. In the end, the legislation passed with broad bipartisan support, and the results have been a case study for how successful and transformative criminal justice reform can be.

U.S. Senators Express Support for Vital Justice Programs

U.S. Senators Express Support for Vital Justice Programs

Senators in April took strong bipartisan action in support of three programs for FY2019—the Second Chance Act, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI)—aimed at increasing public safety and reducing recidivism at the state and local level.

10-Year Anniversary of the Second Chance Act Celebrated on Capitol Hill

As policymakers continue to focus on the importance of safe and successful reentry among people leaving prisons and jails, and with President Trump designating April 2018 “Second Chance Month,” a group of national leaders paused recently to reflect on the impact of the Second Chance Act—a law passed in 2008 that has supported work to improve reentry outcomes in communities throughout the country.

Fact Sheets

The Second Chance Act (Fact Sheet)

The Second Chance Act (Fact Sheet)

Nearly all of the 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States 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 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 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 (Fact Sheet)

The Second Chance Act (Fact Sheet)

Nearly all of the 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States 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.

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims April 2018 as Second Chance Month

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, each year, approximately 650,000 individuals complete prison sentences and rejoin society. Unfortunately, two-thirds of these individuals are re-arrested within 3 years of their release. We must do more—and use all the tools at our disposal—to break this vicious cycle of crime and diminish the rate of recidivism.

U.S. House Members Express Support for Key Justice Programs

U.S. House Members Express Support for Key Justice Programs

Congressional leaders in March took strong bipartisan action in support of three programs in FY 2019—the Second Chance Act, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act, and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative—aimed at increasing public safety and reducing recidivism at the local and state level.