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

maria Uncategorized

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 …

Optimism for Federal Justice Reforms Grows in Congress

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Today, Sen. Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor to express his hope for bipartisan sentencing reform this Congress. This comes on the heels of yesterday’s bipartisan vote to pass the Fair Chance Act out of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Following the U.S. Attorney General’s decision to restrict federal prosecutors’ use of discretion in individual cases, the U.S. Justice Action Network applauds the Senate for taking steps to work across the aisle and continuing the momentum for federal reforms.  Holly Harris, Executive Director of the U.S. Justice Action Network: “Contrary to what you may read in the news, one thing has become even more clear over the …

Senators Paul, Leahy, Merkley Work Across The Aisle For Justice System Reforms

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

U.S. Senators Rand Paul, Patrick Leahy, and Jeff Merkley reintroduced the Justice Safety Valve Act, which would allow federal judges to impose sentences below mandatory minimums on a case-by-case basis. Following the U.S. Attorney General’s decision to restrict federal prosecutors’ use of discretion in individual cases, the U.S. Justice Action Network applauds Sens. Paul, Leahy, and Merkley’s desire to move forward on federal criminal justice reforms. Holly Harris, Executive Director of the U.S. Justice Action Network: “As the nation’s largest bipartisan organization working to reform our justice system, we support reforms to federal sentencing policy for low-level, non-violent offenders. We are pleased to see a continued commitment in Congress from …

Louisiana Takes First Step on Justice Reforms That Make Neighborhoods Safer, Save Money

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

The U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system in Louisiana and around the country, praises the Louisiana Senate for passing the legislation recommended by the Justice Reinvestment Task Force. Taken together, the bills seek to improve public safety by strengthening community supervision, reducing recidivism, and increasing alternatives to incarceration. Thanks to the leadership of Sens. Donald Martiny, John Alario, and Jay Luneau, in addition to Reps. Walt Leger, Joseph Marino, Nancy Landry, and Pat Smith, Senate Bills 220, 221, and 139 passed the Senate with strong bipartisan votes. Holly Harris, Executive Director of U.S. Justice Action Network: “After years of living with the …

States Cite Successful Smart Justice Reforms in Response to Federal Memo

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Washington may be stuck in the 90s, but states are leading the way on smart justice reforms. Dozens of states have implemented – and many more are in the process of implementing – smart on crime policies that are making communities safer and reducing costs to the taxpayers. Between 2010 and 2015, over 31 states were able to cut both crime and incarceration. Further, we know that the ten states with the largest decreases in their use of prisons saw crime drop more (-14%) than those ten states with the largest increases in imprisonment (-8%). You can learn more about how states are leading reform efforts nationwide in the following …

Pennsylvania Reentry Council Offers Opportunity to Continue Efforts towards Criminal Justice Reform

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Today, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro convened the first meeting of the Pennsylvania Reentry Council (PRC). The PRC will be made up of a bipartisan coalition of major stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth tasked with finding ways to improve reentry efforts, reduce recidivism, and educate Pennsylvanians about the challenges of the justice system.  The U.S. Justice Action Network, the largest bipartisan organization working to reform the justice system in Pennsylvania and across the country, today applauded the convening of this group as a first step and called for real action to come from their work: Holly Harris, Executive Director, U.S. Justice Action Network: “We need to clear pathways …