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.

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.

Washington Examiner: Screening for Mental Health Problems Among Criminals

The criminal justice system is overburdened with people who should receive mental health treatment instead of being incarcerated, according to an Air Force chaplain serving in Congress, and the federal government should be helping law enforcement make fundamental changes to resolve the problem. “From my background as a pastor and as an attorney, I have seen the issues with mental health that are crowding our criminal justice system right now,” said Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the House author of the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act.

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.

Wetzel: We Have a Responsibility to Offer a Second Chance

Corrections reform needs to begin by acknowledging that an individual’s humanity is not diminished by incarceration. As we talk about prison population reduction and recidivism reduction, we need to talk in terms of people – an investment in the people in our custody, in our corrections systems and in our communities.

Speaker Ryan Pledges Action on Criminal Justice Reform

Ryan said that bills reported out of the House Judiciary Committee—all of which he says he supports—are expected to get floor time this year. But he did not offer a specific time frame, saying that would be up to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who manages the schedule.