Louisiana House Moves Closer To Improving Public Safety, Curbing Costs Through Justice Reforms

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 House of Representatives for passing legislation proven to help reduce crime and incarceration rates. These policies have been developed through an intensive, bipartisan, stakeholder-driven process, and received broad support from both sides of the aisle. Thanks to the leadership of Representatives Walt Leger, Julie Emerson, Tanner Magee, Helena Moreno, Joseph Marino, and Stephen Dwight, House Bills 116, 249, 489, 519, and 681 passed the House with strong bipartisan votes. Holly Harris, Executive Director of U.S. Justice Action Network: “Just days after a bipartisan group of Senators …

WATCH: USJAN’s Holly Harris Joins C-SPAN to Discuss New Justice Department Sentencing Guidelines

Syrita Bowen News, Uncategorized

Watch Holly Harris’ Full C-SPAN Appearance Here This weekend, Holly Harris, the executive director of the largest bipartisan organization working on criminal justice reform, the U.S. Justice Action Network, appeared on C-SPAN to discuss how the federal government lags behind states– and particularly Republican states– when it comes to reforming the justice system. Here are some highlights:  “My organization feels [that the new directive from the Attorney General] is going in the wrong direction because states around the country that have implemented reforms to mandatory minimum sentencing for low-level, non-violent offenders have seen much better public safety outcomes.” “[Take] Governor Perry in Texas, a lot of people call him the godfather of criminal justice …

A First Mistake Shouldn’t Bar Anyone From A Second Chance.

Syrita Bowen Uncategorized

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans have a criminal record of some kind, which carries lifelong barriers to employment, housing, and education. According to Prison Fellowship, there are over 48,000 of these barriers across the nation, which significantly impact attempts by returning citizens to reintegrate into society successfully, find employment, and lead crime-free lives. A 2010 report, issued by the Center for Economic Research, estimated that there were between 12 and 14 million ex-offenders of working age in the United States as of 2008. Due to the adverse effects that a criminal record has on employment prospects, the report estimated that the economy lost between $57 and $65 billion dollars per …

ICYMI: Former US Attorney Calls on Legislature to Reform Justice System

Syrita Bowen Uncategorized

Brett Tolman, the former United States Attorney for the District of Utah appointed by President George W. Bush and former Chief Counsel for Crime and Terrorism for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling on Louisiana to take action on legislation that reforms the state’s broken justice system. In a post on the U.S. Justice Action Network’s Medium page, he writes:  “I had a front row seat as the system churned through relatively minor offenses and filled our prison system with people who still had a chance to be rehabilitated. That’s exactly why I believe Louisiana needs to tackle this problem at the state level right away. The Louisiana Senate has already …

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 …