Over the past 40 years, the American prison population has grown by 500%. Over two million Americans are currently incarcerated, and a disproportionate number are people of color. The explosion in the prison population has resulted in overcrowding, poor treatment of prisoners, and staggering costs for the public.
In the 114th Congress, members from both sides of the aisle have come together in support of comprehensive reforms to our nation’s sentencing laws. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S. 2123), the Sentencing Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 3713) and the Corrections and Recidivism Reduction Act (H.R. 759) represented the most significant efforts at criminal justice reform in decades. Provisions in these bills would tackle the problems of mass incarceration and over-criminalization by reducing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses and granting judges greater discretion in sentencing decisions.
The 115th Congress can act on this bipartisan consensus and demonstrate much-needed unity around urgent reforms to the criminal justice system. Urge your Representative and Senators to support comprehensive legislation to create fairer sentencing laws, improve prison practices and encourage successful reentry.