Criminal Justice Reform

Reforming an Outdated Criminal Justice System

America First Policies supports the ongoing bipartisan effort to reform the criminal justice system. Too many Americans are suffering at the hands of an outdated justice structure that is ripe for change. America First Policies believes that a well-functioning criminal justice system reduces crime, restores victims, uses taxpayer dollars in a cost-effective manner, reforms offenders and gives them a second chance at reintegrating as productive members of society.

The Facts:

  • In 2016, The U.S. correctional system hosted 450 inmates per 100,000 residents of all ages and 582 per 100,000 residents age 18 or older. The imprisonment rate was 2% lower than in 2015 and the lowest observed since 1997.
  • 97% of prisoners sentenced in 2016 were ordered to spend more than one year incarnated.
  • More than 6.6 million individuals were under the supervision of the U.S. correctional authority at the end of 2016.
  • Approximately 2.2 million Americans are currently residing in jail or prison cells.
  • African American men were 11.8 times more likely to be imprisoned than Caucasian men of the same age (18-19) in 2016.
  • In 2016, 1/38 American adults were under oversight by the U.S. correctional system.

Background:

United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Danielle Kaeble and Mary Cowhig, “Correctional Populations in the United States 2016,” April 2018, https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cpus16.pdf

United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Prisoners in 2016,” January 2018, https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p16_sum.pdf

United States House of Representatives, Doug Collins, H.R. 5682, “FIRST STEP Act,” May 7, 2018, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5682/text

Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute, “Workers With Criminal Records: A Survey by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute,” May 17, 2018, http://2cb9tr19pjj62du5qu4dwata-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/CKI-SHRM-Report.pdf

United States Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, “The Impact of an Aging Inmate Population on the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” February 2016, https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2015/e1505.pdf

Heather MacDonald, Testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, October 22, 2015, https://www.city-journal.org/html/myth-criminal-justice-racism-10231.html


Further Reading:

Allen West, “A New Hypocrisy for the Left on Criminal Justice,” National Review, May 4, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/prison-release-reform-bill-progressive-groups-oppose/

Grant Duwe, “Base Prison Reform On What Works,” RealClearPolicy, January 4, 2018, https://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2018/01/04/base_prison_reform_on_what_works_110462.html

John-Michael Seibler, “Congress Is Right to Consider Prison Reform,” The Daily Signal, May 14, 2018, https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/05/14/congress-is-right-to-consider-prison-reform/

Jerry Madden, “Here's why Conservatives should support criminal justice reform,” Fox News, February 4, 2018, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/04/heres-why-conservatives-should-support-criminal-justice-reform.html

Adam Brandon, “Take the first step on evidence-based criminal justice reform,” The Hill, May 17, 2018, http://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/388093-take-the-first-step-on-evidence-based-criminal-justice-reform

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