1. Legislative Ask
  2. Criminal Justice

Pass Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform

Reduce mass incarceration through sentencing, prison, and re-entry legislation.

Harsh sentences and the challenges of re-entry have perpetuated a system of mass incarceration. These policies unfairly impact people of color and waste tax-payer dollars. Momentum has been growing in Congress and states for reforms that scale back excessively long prison sentences and provide opportunities for formerly incarcerated people.

Pass bipartisan sentencing, prison, and reentry measures to reduce our prison population and support formerly incarcerated people.

  • Co-sponsor Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (SRCA, S.1917) and push for a House counterpart. Unnecessarily long mandatory minimum sentences do nothing for public safety. SRCA would reduce mandatory minimums for drug offenses going forward and apply important changes retroactively, like the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 that cut down the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity. The changes to sentences and increases to judges’ discretion in sentencing are bipartisan solutions to reverse some of the worst drivers of mass incarceration.
  • Make sure prison programs and sentence reductions are funded and broadly available. The FIRST STEP Act (H.R. 5682,S.2795) needs to ensure that proposed prison reforms have funding, serve as many prisoners as possible, and reduce prison sentences rather than shift confinement to halfway houses. Savings from sentencing reforms would pay for the bulk of these programs.
  • Co-sponsor the Second Chance Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2899) and Sen. Portman’s upcoming Senate counterpart. To rejoin society, formerly incarcerated people need more resources, not more restrictions. Second Chance Act grant programs help formerly incarcerated people access reentry programs in their communities.

FCNL Contact: José Woss, jose@fcnl.org