February 01, 2016

Corrections Reform

The House Judiciary Committee approved a key piece of its criminal justice reform initiative Feb. 11 when it cleared H.R. 759, the Recidivism Risk Reduction Act, for action by the full House. The bill would require the attorney general to develop a Post-Sentencing Risk and Needs Assessment System directed at reducing recidivism;  provide tools to implement recidivism programs in prisons; and develop training programs for Bureau of Prisons officials. The legislation also would set forth procedures for all prisoners who are at low risk of returning to prison after release to be transferred to pre-release custody such as a halfway house or home supervision. “By using a targeted approach for each prisoner, we can lower the risk of recidivism,” committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.) said. “Fewer recidivists mean fewer prisoners in the future and even greater savings to the American taxpayer.” The ABA supports expansion of in-prison programming such as that included in the legislation.

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