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.