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Prison Reforms Groups Battle Strategy

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Prison Reforms Groups Battle Strategy

"Progressive groups fighting for criminal justice reform are divided over legislation that would allow prisoners to finish their sentences in a halfway house, home confinement or under community supervision if they complete education, job training, drug treatment and other programs while behind bars.

The Leadership Conference for Civil Rights, American Civil Liberties Union and NAACP are among the groups saying that legislation that fails to reduce mandatory minimum sentences isn’t worth their support.

“Before the [Trump] administration entered, there was a consensus in Congress on the need to pass sentencing reform,” said Inimai Chettiar, director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Justice Program.

“Now that Jeff Sessions is the attorney general they’re offering a watered down approach.”

But #cut50, a criminal justice reform advocacy group led by Van Jones, the CNN host and former adviser to President Obama, sees the bill sponsored by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) that’s supported by the White House as an opportunity for positive change, even if it’s incremental.
“It’s a bill that’s moving that we decided as a group we’ll hop in and try to make stronger because I think this is going to move with or without us,” said Jessica Sloan Jackson, the national director and co-founder of #cut50..."

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