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Texas-Inspired Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Bill Introduced in Senate

Congress continues its momentum with proven state-based solutions

Right on Crime is encouraged by the filing of the Corrections Oversight, Recidivism Reduction, and Eliminating Costs for Taxpayers In Our National System Act (CORRECTIONS Act). Led by Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the legislation focuses on prison reforms in the federal system, modeled after Texas reforms that have produced lower recidivism rates and reduced costs to taxpayers. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Mike Lee (UT) are also original co-sponsors of the legislation.

“This is reform that puts safety first and focuses on ways to make prison actually work—not only by punishing offenders, but also by rehabilitating those who want to make a sincere effort to become productive members of our society,” said Marc Levin, Policy Director for Right on Crime.

The CORRECTIONS Act calls for risk assessments of prisoners starting with intake and continuing throughout their time in the Bureau of Prisons, ensuring that necessary programs are offered to enable rehabilitation. It expands those programs and holds the federal government accountable for delivering results that will lower costs and result in more safety. Furthermore, the legislation encourages the use of faith-based programming in prisons and gives prisoners incentives to participate in all types of recidivism-reducing programs. The CORRECTIONS Act also calls for enhancements to correctional officer safety and creates a national commission on criminal justice.

“Congress has watched how successful these reforms have been in Texas,” said Levin. “It should be no surprise that our experience forms the backbone of this reform.”

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Crime, Punishment and Taxes

Right on Crime | October 24, 2017
This article by Marc Levin and MacArthur Foundation’s Director for Justice, Laurie Garduque, originally appeared in USA Today, October 24th, 2017. Local corrections costs have quadrupled over the past 40 years.…
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