U.S. Senator Cory Booker has worked to reform the country’s sentencing guidelines.
Senator Booker told NPR:
“The key is providing inmates with the opportunities to succeed once they’ve served their time.
“Our criminal justice system can’t be just about punishment and retribution. It has to be about our best values. We are and always have been a nation of second chances and I hope we always will.”
In Newark, the President announced new actions aimed at helping Americans who’ve paid their debt to society rehabilitate and reintegrate back into their communities.
Each year, more than 600,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons. Advancing policies and programs that enable these men and women to put their lives back on track and earn their second chance promotes not only justice and fairness, but also public safety.
The President has called on Congress to pass meaningful criminal justice reform, including reforms that reduce recidivism for those who have been in prison and are reentering society.
The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, which recently received a strong bipartisan vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, would be an important step forward in this effort, by providing new incentives and opportunities for those incarcerated to participate in the type of evidence-based treatment and training and other programs proven to reduce recidivism, promote successful reentry, and help eliminate barriers to economic opportunity following release.
By reducing overlong sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, the bill would also free up additional resources for investments in other public safety initiatives, including reentry services, programs for mental illness and addiction, and state and local law enforcement.
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