ACLU Comment on Criminal Justice Reform Meeting at White House Today

January 11, 2018 3:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — A group of elected officials will meet at the White House today, with prison reform on the agenda, as part of a broad conversation on the American criminal justice system. In anticipation of this discussion, Jesselyn McCurdy, deputy director with the American Civil Liberties Union, issued the following statement:

“For the last few decades, incarceration has been our government’s first and frequent response to problems associated with issues of drug addiction, mental health needs, and poverty, resulting in devastating fiscal and human implications. As the White House discusses these issues this afternoon, it is essential that the momentum built towards meaningful reform in the last congress is continued. Ninety-one percent of Americans support criminal justice reform, with two in three Americans—including 65 percent of Trump voters—believing that lawmakers should support reducing imprisonment.

“Enacting the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017 would be the first real step towards reducing the prison population and increasing public safety. But with the United States rate of incarceration being the highest in the world, and federal spending estimated at $80 billion, there is much more work to be done. We need reform at every step of the process, including bail, prosecutor practices, sentencing, and reentry.

“We urge the White House to work with Congress to fulfill its obligation to the American people, and work towards bi-partisan, substantive criminal justice reform.”

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