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.

Portman, Leahy Announce Second Chance Reauthorization Act to Help Ex-Offenders Incorporated into Criminal Justice Reform Package

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced that their bipartisan Second Chance Reauthorization Act, has been incorporated into the First Step Act, bipartisan legislation to reform America’s criminal justice system authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

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.

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.