Second Chances Garner Rare Bipartisan Applause
Tonight, Holly Harris, executive director and president of the Justice Action Network, the country’s largest organization focused on bipartisan criminal justice reform solutions at the federal and state level, issued the following statement in response to President Trump highlighting criminal justice reform in his State of the Union Address:
“President Trump made a smart strategic choice here—criminal justice reform is one of the most popular, uniting issues I’ve seen in my career in politics, and the message of working with both parties in Congress on the First Step Act appeals to voters across the political spectrum.
“It shouldn’t surprise us that he’s chosen to highlight justice reform on two of the biggest media stages of the year—here in the State of the Union, and this weekend in his Super Bowl ad—because this is an issue that touches almost every American family. It’s also a mark of how far we’ve come that a president who ran on a tough-on-crime message is highlighting his work on justice reform and clemency as he kicks off his election year campaign.
“We hope that President Trump’s message that he is fully committed to the First Step Act will be heard by the staff at the Department of Justice who have been working to delay the act’s implementation, and in some cases trying to put people who have been released back in federal prison.
“Anyone out there stalling these reforms or using this issue as an attack line should think twice about taking an approach that puts them at odds with conservatives, progressives, business leaders, faith-based groups, civil rights organizations, veterans, victims’ advocates, President Trump, and every Democratic candidate running to replace him.”