Brennan Center to Testify Before Chuck Colson Task Force on Reforms, Cost Savings

March 10, 2015

Tomorrow Nicole Austin-Hillery, director of the Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C. office, will testify before the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections on the need for the U.S. Department of Justice to move toward a 21st century criminal justice system, by institutionalizing new priorities and success measures. The testimony will be part of a public meeting in Washington, D.C., on March 11. Click here for more information.

The Brennan Center submitted written testimony last week. In her testimony, Austin-Hillery will urge the Department of Justice to:

  • Articulate new priorities for federal prosecution: reducing violent and serious crime, reducing incarceration, reducing recidivism, and reducing pretrial detention;
  • Provide additional funding for U.S. Attorneys’ Offices that successfully reduce the numbers of defendants sent to prison;
  • Evaluate the performance of U.S. Attorneys’ Offices based on “success measures” that track progress toward these priorities;
  • Modify evaluations of individual prosecutors to include similar success measures; and
  • Encourage U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to implement complementary changes in their individual offices.

“It is time to ensure federal criminal justice practices align with today’s challenges and spend taxpayer dollars wisely,” said Austin-Hillery. “Federal prosecutors can, and should, play a leading a role in reducing prison populations and costs while preserving public safety.”

Read Federal Prosecution for the 21st Century, a Brennan Center policy proposal detailing how a mission shift for federal prosecutors could simultaneously reduce crime and incarceration.

Read a fiscal impact statement estimating more than $1 billion in savings if DOJ implemented the proposed reforms in a way that leads to 100,000 fewer federal prisoners a year.

Click here to read more about the Brennan Center’s work to reduce mass incarceration.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Naren Daniel at (646) 292-8381 or Naren.Daniel@nyu.edu