Washington, D.C. — Following the introduction of the Senate’s bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which is aimed at recalibrating prison sentences for certain drug offenders, targeting violent criminals, granting judges greater discretion in sentencing for lower-level drug crimes, and helping prisoners successfully re-enter society, Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
Mass incarceration is a major driver of poverty and inequality in this country with consequences that affect us all. Between 70 million and 100 million Americans have a criminal record. A criminal history carries lifelong barriers that can block successful participation in society, with severe implications not only for the millions of individuals who are prevented from moving on with their lives and becoming productive citizens but also for their families, communities, and the national economy.
We applaud the Senate’s effort to craft a bipartisan criminal justice reform measure that addresses some of the principle drivers of mass incarceration. We look forward to examining the legislation and continuing to work with our partners to achieve meaningful reforms that keep us safe and ensure that the justice system is fair and affords individuals with criminal records a second chance.
Center for American Progress experts are available to speak on this topic. For more information, please contact Tanya S. Arditi at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.741.6258.