New Book Heralds National Shift on Justice Policy

Mass incarceration. In recent years it’s become clear that the size of America’s prison population is unsustainable – and isn’t needed to protect public safety. In Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice Reform, the country's most prominent public figures and experts join together to propose ideas for change. In these original essays, many authors speak for the first time on the issue. The vast majority agree that reducing our incarcerated population is a priority. Marking a clear political shift on crime and punishment in America, these sentiments are a far cry from politicians racing to be the most punitive in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mass incarceration threatens American democracy. Hiding in plain sight, it drives economic inequality, racial injustice, and poverty. How do we achieve change? From using federal funding to bolster police best practices to allowing for the release of low-level offenders while they wait for trial, from eliminating prison for low-level drug crimes to increasing drug and mental health treatment, the ideas in this book pave a way forward. This remarkable bipartisan collection promises to further the intellectual and political momentum to reform our justice system.

Read more below from Scott Walker, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Marco RubioJoseph R. Biden, Jr., Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz.

For hard copies, please email Jessica Katzen.

In his foreword to Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, former President William J. Clinton writes that criminal justice reform is an area ripe for genuine bipartisan cooperation.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal JusticeJoseph R. Biden, Jr. calls for a renewed focus on community policing.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Cory Booker urges broad-based reforms to sentencing, incarceration, and reentry policy.  

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal JusticeCornell William Brooks calls for an end to racial profiling and ban on "the box" that prevents former offenders from securing gainful employment.

In her essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, the Brennan Center's Inimai Chettiar explains that a comprehensive mix of federal, state, and local reforms will be necessary to end mass incarceration.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal JusticeChris Christie argues for less pretrial detention, drug treatment instead of prison for nonviolent addicts, and more.

In her essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Hillary Rodham Clinton writes that we should ensure federal funds to state and local law enforcement are used to bolster best practices, not contributing to unnecessary incarceration.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal JusticeTed Cruz advocates for the end of “overcriminalization” of minor offenses and for both sentencing and court reforms.

In her essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Kamala Harris promotes “smart on crime,” data-driven criminal justice approaches.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Mike Huckabee writes that we should invest in communities, education, and treatment, rather than in prisons.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, former NRA president David Keene urges a rebuilding and strengthening of the nation’s mental health system.

In his entry for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Mark A.R. Kleiman writes that effective reentry programs will be key to reducing America's disastrously large prison population.

In her essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Washington, D.C. police chief Cathy L. Lanier revisits the nation’s immense success at reducing crime and pinpoints stronger relationships between police and communities as being core to that effort.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Marc Levin urges a shift toward a results-oriented criminal justice system that takes a cue from successful state efforts to reduce incarceration.

In her essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Janet Napolitano writes that prosecutorial discretion, as exercised through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, is a longstanding, fundamental principle of the American justice system.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal JusticeMartin O’Malley writes that we should eliminate the death penalty, and invest the dollars saved back into law enforcement.

In his essay for Solutions: Americans Speak Out on Criminal JusticeRand Paul urges a bipartisan effort to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences, end police militarization, and more.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Rick Perry calls for states to follow Texas’ example and offer treatment instead of prison for certain offenders, in order to “eliminate our incarceration epidemic.”

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Marco Rubio urges a review of our criminal code with an eye towards rationalizing the list of federal statutory and regulatory crimes, but thinks drug legalization is a bridge too far.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Bryan Stevenson calls on Americans to embrace the challenge of creating a fairer, more merciful criminal justice system.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice Reform, Jeremy Travis argues that its time for a major rethinking of the methods and goals of crime policy.

In his essay for Solutions: American Leaders Speak Out on Criminal Justice, Scott Walker proposes increased drug testing in order to identify addictions while there’s still time to help people recover.

In his essay for Solutions: Americans Speak Out on Criminal JusticeJames Webb, calls for a bipartisan National Commission to address the issue of mass incarceration.