It isn’t too often senators propose something that just might help prison reform, but Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are reintroducing a prison reform bill as reported by “The Hill” on Feb 10, 2015. The bill is meant to help reduce the number of people incarcerated in federal prisons. One of the main things it proposes is, support programs that help prisoners avoid coming back into the system.
They are proposing prisoners take a risk assessment, and those who fall into low or medium risk would have the opportunity to reduce their sentence. All the inmates have to do is participate in programs designed to reduce their chance of recidivism. What a forward thinking idea. They could earn as much as 25% off their sentence. The bill does prevent high risk prisoners from participating in the program. (Sex offenders or terrorists) The senators are hoping that this bill would lead to others, which would also be designed to solve problems rampant in the penal system. For a start, this reduction of sentences would certainly help with the overcrowding in federal prisons. Maybe it would also lead to states taking a look at better programs for their prisons and jails.
We currently have about 2.3 million people incarcerated in jails, prisons and camps. It does not take much thought to know there is something wrong with our criminal justice and penal systems.
Good for you senators! Be sure to take a look at the for profit companies that are helping to keep all these people incarcerated too.