Response to the recent news that a historic criminal justice reform vote would be delayed until after the 2016 elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 16th, 2016

CONTACT: Lacy Crawford | 252-292-6088 | Lacy@MegaphoneStrategies.com

Washington, DC -- Statement from Jessica Jackson Sloan, National Director of #cut50, in response to the recent news that a historic criminal justice reform vote would be delayed until after the 2016 elections:   

“Today, politics got in the way of progress and the hopes of thousands of families and individuals were dashed with this devastating news.” said Jessica Jackson, National Director and co-founder of #cut50.

“It’s truly unfortunate that despite all the bipartisan agreement, supportive evidence, and expressed will of voters Congress can’t seem to find the political courage to move this forward in a timely fashion.

Our leaders in Congress may be OK with waiting, but children separated from their mothers and fathers are not.

The federal prison system is overflowing with low-level drug offenders. The $700 million in cost-savings that would come from these reforms would be much better spent addressing the underlying cause of the crime like addiction, mental illness, and poverty rather than keeping these people behind bars. ”

Polling data shows that voters and victims of crime support reform:

Voters across demographic groups and party lines support significant changes to federal criminal justice laws, especially as they apply to drug offenses, according to a poll released in February by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Nearly 80 percent favor ending mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and that more than three-quarters support eliminating federal mandatory minimums in all cases.

In August, Alliance for Safety and Justice released the first-of-its-kind National Survey of Victims’ Views:

  • By a margin of nearly 3 to 1, victims believe that prison makes people more likely to commit crimes than to rehabilitate them

  • By a margin of 7 to 1, victims prefer increased investments in crime prevention and programs for at-risk youth over more investments in prisons and jails

  • 6 in 10 victims prefer shorter prison sentences and more spending on prevention and rehabilitation to prison sentences that keep people incarcerated for as long as possible

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#cut50 is a program of The Dream Corps, an organization that links economic, environmental and criminal justice innovators inside a single organization, and supercharges their strategies with world-class partnerships, smart digital tools and national media access.

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