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November 30, 2017


Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) have introduced a bipartisan corrections bill based on successful criminal justice reforms that have been instituted in their home states of Texas and Rhode Island. S. 1994, the Corrections Oversight, Recidivism Reduction, and Eliminating Costs for Taxpayers in Our National System (CORRECTIONS) Act of 2017, tackles a plethora of prison reform issues, including: reducing prison spending; improving prisoner reentry; creating a National Criminal Justice Commission; and expanding recidivism-reduction programs. The bill, according to Cornyn, “fosters partnerships with faith- and community-based organizations to help better prepare low-risk offenders to become productive members of society.” Whitehouse explained, “Our bill has been an important part of bipartisan comprehensive criminal justice reform legislation in the Senate in recent years. I hope it will trigger further good-faith negotiation on sentencing and prison reform solutions.” Some of the bill’s provisions are included in more comprehensive sentencing and corrections legislation, S. 1917, which was introduced on Oct. 4 by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and 9 other cosponsors. The ABA has an array of policies supporting criminal justice reforms, including a fairer sentencing system, recidivism reduction, and reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.


Back to the November 2017 Washington Letter