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 …

The Washington Times Op-Ed: “Out Front On Justice Reform”

James Ringland News

August 19, 2016 Check out our new op-ed in The Washington Times from U.S. Justice Action Network Executive Director Holly Harris and Coalition for Public Safety President Steven Hawkins highlighting how the big success story in criminal justice reform is happening at the state level. You can read the piece in full here. “Most of the discussion on justice reform efforts focuses on federal legislation. Indeed, several bills with bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate would aid in safely reducing the federal prison population and addressing the revolving door of incarceration. And while justice reform advocates are frustrated that these bills have yet to come to a vote, focusing …

ICYMI: The Hill Op-Ed: Ryan’s Victory Trumps Justice Reform Opponents

James Ringland News

The Hill recently published an op-ed from our Director of Federal Affairs Andrew Howard and Executive Director Holly Harris. Following Speaker Paul Ryan’s defeat of his primary challenger, Paul Nehlen, the piece outlines the potential for this moment to be the game changer that helps to bring criminal justice reform legislation to a vote this September. Below are some excerpts from the piece which you can read in full here. “House Speaker Paul Ryan’s, primary opponent, Paul Nehlen frequently attacks Ryan’s support for criminal justice reform.  Nehlen accused Ryan of pushing Obama’s agenda on jailbreak criminal justice reform policies.“Not only was Nehlen’s narrative wrong, his political calculus was flawed. Ryan clobbered him on …

Must Read: Morning Consult: Advocates Still Optimistic on Criminal Justice Reform

James Ringland News

August 12, 2016 Morning Consult previewed published a piece previewing the prospects for federal action on criminal justice reform when Congress is back in session in the fall. Emphasizing the strong bipartisan support for reform across the nation, the story highlighted the major changes to the justice system passed so far at the state level, many of which have been championed by the U.S. Justice Action Network and our partner organizations on the left and right. Below are some excerpts from the piece, which you can read in full here: “We now have data that shows that these reforms in the states — not only do these save millions and in some cases billions …

Illinois Takes Next Step on the Path Towards Justice Reform

James Ringland News

August 1, 2016 Last week, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Senate Bill 2228, which recategorizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana as a civil offense. Prior to his approval of this legislation, possession was charged as a misdemeanor, tying up precious court and local jail resources. This move will refocus the state’s justice system on serious offenders and make better use of taxpayer resources, and reflects the agreement in Illinois on both sides of the aisle that it is time for smart and effective justice system reforms. Our organization worked closely with the Illinois Policy Institute and a large bipartisan group of local leaders to bring this …

Bipartisan Justice Reform Front and Center at Democratic National Convention

James Ringland News

July 28, 2016 With an emphasis on rehabilitation, reentry and reducing incarceration, reforming our nation’s justice system took center stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Across the four days, Americans were urged to support policies that safely reduce the prison population and help those who leave our prisons and jails rejoin their communities successfully, keeping us safe and making our communities stronger. Justice reform’s prominence this week comes on the heels of our successful “Changing Laws, Changing Lives” forum at the Republican National Convention, where Republican Governors Nathan Deal of Georgia, Matt Bevin of Kentucky, and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma explored the achievements and challenges of their state justice systems. …