State of the States: Justice Reform in Focus

maria News, Uncategorized

Each year, governors in every state deliver their annual State of the State addresses to lay out their priorities and set their agenda for the year to come. Across the country, governors from both parties are including justice reform as an important part of their agenda this year. Follow along on Twitter via the hashtag: #StatesLead. Here’s a rundown of what the governors are putting at the top of their agenda in 2017. Click to jump to a state Arkansas Arizona Connecticut  Illinois Kentucky  Missouri Nevada New Jersey  New York      North Dakota      Oklahoma     South Dakota    Virginia KENTUCKY  – Governor Bevin  February 8, 2017 “Criminal justice reform …

WATCH: “Changing Laws, Changing Lives:” Inside Look at How Georgia, Oklahoma and Kentucky Are Reforming Their Justice Systems

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We produced this video, “Changing Laws, Changing Lives,” to share the story how Georgia, Oklahoma and Kentucky – led by Republican governors – are reforming their justice systems. Govs. Matt Bevin, Nathan Deal, and Mary Fallin are featured in the video and discuss the often difficult journey they took in Kentucky, Georgia and Oklahoma to pass legislation with bipartisan support that reduce their states’ costly prison populations and break down barriers so individuals leaving prison can get back to work, support their families and lead productive, redeemed lives. The video makes clear that when we work together, regardless of political affiliation, we can make our justice system smarter, fairer and more efficient. Please share with your networks and then contact …

U.S. Justice Action Network Applauds Kentucky Senate Judiciary Committee for Passing Senate Bill 120

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Frankfort, KY – The U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system in Kentucky and on the federal level, applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing Senate Bill 120 and sending it to the full Senate. The reentry reform legislation, introduced by Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield, passed on a near-unanimous, overwhelming bipartisan vote. Support for the bill came from a wide range of groups and organizations in state, including: Kentucky Smart on Crime Coalition, Kentucky Sheriff’s Association, Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police, Kentucky Jailers Association, Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Greater Louisville Inc. The bill seeks to …

U.S. Justice Action Network Praises Ohio Senators for Introducing Bipartisan, Commonsense Justice Reforms

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Group Supports Bipartisan Reforms That Follow the Recommendations of the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee Columbus, OH –  Today, the U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system in Ohio and across the nation, congratulates State Sens. John Eklund and Charleta Tavares on introducing bipartisan reforms to the Buckeye state’s criminal justice system. Their legislation addresses some of the reforms proposed by the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee that identified approaches within the state’s criminal code to reduce costs and keep communities safe. Holly Harris, Executive Director, U.S. Justice Action Network: “We are thrilled to see the Ohio legislature move forward with proposals that will continue …

U.S. Justice Action Network Urges Alabama House to Reject Costly New Prison Plan

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

We’re calling on the Alabama Legislature to reject a plan that would cost taxpayers at least $1.5 billion—doubling the state’s annual debt obligations—without solving the problem of overcrowding in the state’s prison system. We are putting the weight of our partner organizations behind efforts to reject the refiled Alabama Prison Transformation Initiative Act, as the costly and irresponsible measure would fail to adequately address Alabama’s prison crisis. Here’s what Holly Harris, representatives from our national coalition, and Alabama partners had to say about the plan: Holly Harris, Executive Director, U.S. Justice Action Network: “This massive prison building plan does not fix the issues with Alabama’s prisons, but it will give …

U.S. Justice Action Network Featured in Latest Foreign Affairs Magazine

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Executive Director Holly Harris’ Essay on Criminal Justice Reform Featured Among Top Issues for New Administration Washington, D.C. – Today, Foreign Affairs magazine debuted an essay by U.S. Justice Action Network Executive Director Holly Harris in their March/April edition. The essay explores the political landscape and opportunity for the “law and order” President to tackle justice reform at the federal level. It also outlines the bipartisan efforts that brought sentencing and corrections reform legislation further than ever before in the U.S. Congress, and details tremendous reform victories in states as diverse as Georgia and Connecticut. Titled “Trump Time,” the new magazine features a range of challenging issues that a new administration will confront …

Governor Bevin, Chairman Westerfield and Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Unveil Reentry Reform Legislation

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Legislation Reflects First Step in Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council Recommendations Frankfort, KY – Governor Matt Bevin today joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Whitney Westerfield, House Judiciary Chairman Joe Fischer, Supreme Court Justice Daniel Venters, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley, and Labor Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey to introduce legislation designed to provide common-sense fixes to reentry and second chance issues at the heart of Kentucky’s justice system. The bill, Senate Bill 120, seeks to reduce Kentucky’s high recidivism rates by removing barriers to individuals leaving prison and returning to society. This includes lifting the automatic ban in place for those with minor criminal records that seek occupational licensing …