Big Bipartisan Justice Bill Set for Introduction in June

Big Bipartisan Justice Bill Set for Introduction in June

A big bipartisan Justice reform bill is set to be introduced in the House during the second week of June.

The lead sponsors of the comprehensive justice legislation will be A Democrat and a Republican: Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI).

The bill will be a sweeping example of the new thinking on criminal justice reform witnessed over the last several years as Democrats and Republicans continue to find agreement on what was once an issue that divided the right and left.  The U.S. Leads the world in the rate of incarceration.

The legislation will call for an end to mandatory minimums.  On May 13, eight members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to discuss specific justice policy they agree on.  Mandatory minimums, civil asset forfeiture and police body cameras were discussed.  Last week, Republican Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) led the first substantive congressional hearing on policing since the Aug. 2014 death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Reps. Scott and Sensenbrenner are part of a bipartisan Over Criminalization Task Force along with Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Hakeem Jeffries (D-VA) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) and others.

The task force heard testimony from several witnesses on the right and left who spoke in support of alternatives to long prison sentences.