Letter to Congress on the Prison Reform and Redemption Act

The narrow prison reform bill backed by the White House and being considered by Congress is an incomplete starting point for fixing our broken justice system, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law said in this letter to Judiciary Committee leadership in Congress.

April 18, 2018

The Center joins 60 civil rights groups, including the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, ACLU, and NAACP Legal Defense Fund - who sent a similar letter - in our concerns about back-end only reforms that don't address how individuals get to prison in the first place.

While effective reentry and rehabilitation services are important, the Brennan Center emphasizes that “making such reforms a central legislative goal, rather than part of a comprehensive package that includes sentencing reform, unnecessarily limits the range of achievable reform at a key juncture” when there is bipartisan support for something more comprehensive. The letter urges committee leaders to continue efforts to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which would reduce the number of federal prisoners and was close to passage last year.

Letter to Congress on the Prison Reform and Redemption Act