Justice Reform: 9 Dems and 9 Republicans to Push Over-Criminalization Roll Back

Justice Reform: 9 Dems and 9 Republicans to Push Over-Criminalization Roll Back


Today Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) will announce the introduction of the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act of 2015.  They will be joined by nine Republicans and nine Democrats, making the legislation one of the most bipartisan efforts seen on criminal justice to come out of the House in a long time.

A large array of groups from the right and the left will be endorsing the legislation.

Sensenbrenner and Scott led the House Judiciary Committee’s Over-criminalization Task Force during the 113th Congress.  The job of the task force was to assess the entire federal criminal justice system and recommend for improvements.  Over the course of 18 months, the task force held ten hearings and heard testimony from criminal justice experts in the federal, academic, and nonprofit sectors.

Based on the work of the task force, the SAFE Justice Act will take a broad-based approach to improving the federal sentencing and corrections.  It will also be the first legislation to confront the federal supervision system and seeking to make sure probation does a better job stopping recidivism at federal prisons.


  1. Why is there a huge amount of recidivism? The National Institute of justice goes on to point out that the United States has the highest number of people incarcerated than any other Democratic Nation in the World. Among African Americans juvenile arrest…Boulger, Bostwick and Powers[2012] point out that the Re-incarceration Rate averages about three times higher than that of Whites…Boulger point to The State of Illinois as an example where the African-American Male Youth recidivism is high. Their State Commission Report showed that the African Male Youth Recidivism Rate is high as 40%…..Jackson[2009] explains that 1 in 3 African- American between the ages of 20-29 are under the criminal justice system. Jackson further points out that the current incarceration by Race places Whites at 919 per 100,000 while African-Americans are almost 7000 per 100,000. This is a significant number because a large percentage is African-American Male Youth…..The center for Disease Control[2013] explains that African-American Male Youth committing violent crimes since 1980s has double that of their White Counterparts? Socioeconomic Status and Ethnicity: In addition, the implications of living in Poverty and Racial/ Culture Disparities lead to anxious and frustrated feelings. These feelings have widespread implication as it relates to Criminal Recidivism….Another factor is when an ex-inmate is released from jail or prison, they are stigmatized as that, and cannot find suitable work at all. The doors are almost always closed to them. This in return leads to frustration and despair…..More Grease to Your Elbow…