The National Sheriffs' Association — one of the largest associations of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs and a total membership of more than 20,000 —united with other prominent law enforcement organizations this week in calling for passage of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, which was introduced by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and would create a blue ribbon commission to provide a comprehensive review of our nation's criminal justice system.
The National Sheriff's Association joined the National Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Narcotics Officer's Associations' Coalition and the International Union of Police Associations, as well as over 150 civil rights, criminal justice, community-based, faith-based and civil liberties organizations, including the ACLU, who have already lent their support to this crucial legislation.
There is growing recognition that our nation's criminal justice system must be evidence-based, meet clear performance measures and withstand the scrutiny of fiscal, cost-benefit and racial impact analysis. However, our criminal justice system is not doing a good job. It has failed on every count: public safety, fairness and cost-effectiveness.
We're heartened by the fact that more and more law enforcement groups are beginning to recognize that a new approach to criminal justice policy is necessary and that the time for reform is now.