STATEMENT: CAP’s Ed Chung: Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act Vote a Step Toward Addressing Broken Federal Criminal Justice System

Washington, D.C. — Today, in a bipartisan vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, a comprehensive federal criminal justice reform bill that would reduce mandatory minimum sentences and provide mechanisms to improve re-entry efforts at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Ed Chung, the vice president for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today in support of the committee’s action:

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s vote today to approve the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, sponsored by Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), is an important step toward addressing our broken federal criminal justice system. The bill is the product of careful bipartisan negotiations over several years and, if enacted, would reduce mandatory minimum sentences while initiating changes to the way the Bureau of Prisons prepares those incarcerated to re-enter their communities after serving their sentences. The strong bipartisan vote in support of the legislation shows that leaders across the ideological spectrum continue to prioritize not only assistance to help people succeed after incarceration but also to ensure that our sentencing laws are just and proportional. The same spirit of bipartisanship that led to this vote should continue to guide the committee’s work when considering both justice-related legislation as well as nominations for positions in the federal judiciary.

CAP experts are available for comment. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Elena Gaona at egaona@americanprogress.org or 202-478-6322.