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Does the Criminal Justice System Need Sweeping Reforms?

Jim Webb, the former Secretary of the Navy under Ronald Reagan and current Democratic Senator from Virginia, wants to rehabilitate America's criminal justice system. So he's proposed a crime bill!

Webb's plan starts with creating a bipartisan commission to study the system for 18 months and come up with a concrete legislative reform plan of its own.

Webb points out urgent reasons for the legislation, which include:

  • About 25 percent of the world's prisoners live in the US, which only has five percent of the world's population.
  • The number of drug offenders in prison has jumped 1,200 percent since 1980.
  • Four times as many mentally ill people are in prison than in mental health hospitals.
  • Post-prison re-entry programs are often nonexistent and threaten public safety.

The crime bill has begun gaining support from both conservatives and liberals typically afraid of being labeled soft on crime.

Source

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stephley stephley 6 years
never heard of him Brandy, but will look him up now. Hopefully, he'll stick around and move up...
BRANDYNICOLE730 BRANDYNICOLE730 6 years
I don't know how many of you know about Dallas' DA Craig Watkins. He was voted Texan of the Year for 2008, due to the number of wrongly convicted individuals he had freed after being imprisoned, some for 15 years. WE need more like him.
Michelann Michelann 6 years
Lili, I don't know what the NPR story said, but the short answer is that they usually end up back in prison.
liliblu liliblu 6 years
Thanks for the link Steph!
liliblu liliblu 6 years
Thanks for the link Steph!
stephley stephley 6 years
NPR's Tell Me More had a piece on that yesterday Lili. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102496048&ft=1&f=46
stephley stephley 6 years
NPR's Tell Me More had a piece on that yesterday Lili. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102496048&ft=1&f=46
liliblu liliblu 6 years
"A prison sentence should not be a sentence to be raped, shanked, and intimidated into committing even more illegal acts." I agree with you Mich. I was glad that Senator Webb addressed prison abuse. This issue is either ignored or joked about in our society. But what happens to the individuals who are abused and terrorized in prison once they get out?
liliblu liliblu 6 years
"A prison sentence should not be a sentence to be raped, shanked, and intimidated into committing even more illegal acts." I agree with you Mich. I was glad that Senator Webb addressed prison abuse. This issue is either ignored or joked about in our society. But what happens to the individuals who are abused and terrorized in prison once they get out?
Michelann Michelann 6 years
I absolutely agree that the criminal justice system needs a serious change. The first things I would suggest would be to slowly legalize (or decriminalize, whatever) drugs starting with marijuana. Then use the enormous amount of money saved from DEA programs and incarcerating non-violent offenders to put more surveillance in prisons. A prison sentence should not be a sentence to be raped, shanked, and intimidated into committing even more illegal acts.
stephley stephley 6 years
Sadly Hypno, wardens social workers and prison guards have been begging for reform while others were finding new ingenious ways to build fortunes through prisons and prison labor. Webb's taking on a huge mess.
mydiadem mydiadem 6 years
Agreed Hypo, people have been begging for this for years. Oh, and they have been begginf for better schools, better roads, health care reform, all of which have been ignored or made worse in the last decade.
dm8bri dm8bri 6 years
LONG overdue. I would love to know how much money has been wasted thus far.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
Well I certainly agree with the study however I also have to say that I'm really getting sick and tired of politicians waiting until problems reach a fever pitch threat to public safety before they're left with no other choice but to deal. What the hell ever happen to for sight? Wardens, social workers, prison guards and other professionals in the system have been begging for this for twenty years.
Roarman Roarman 6 years
This is long overdue.
Roarman Roarman 6 years
This is long overdue.
liliblu liliblu 6 years
The commission needs to take a good look at private prisons. Private prisons make money based on the number of inmates they house. Decreasing the prison population will eat into their profits. Mandatory minimums and three strikes laws are good for business. How much influence did these companies have on legislation?
liliblu liliblu 6 years
My comment was flagged but I have no idea why.
liliblu liliblu 6 years
The first thing that should be looked at is the privatization of our prisons. People are making money based on the number of inmates they house and each day they stay locked up. Is their a desire to rehabilitate inmates when they are your source of revenue?
Jillness Jillness 6 years
We desperately need this! I really like the idea of observing for 18 months. When you can't figure out the specific sources of a problem, it is much more difficult to find adequate solutions.
liliblu liliblu 6 years
Long over due. The more I learn about Jim Webb the more respect I gain for him.
hausfrau hausfrau 6 years
Sounds good!
hausfrau hausfrau 6 years
Sounds good!
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