Last Friday afternoon, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, along with other "bipartisan colleagues," reintroduced major legislation that could transform criminal justice in this country, and lead to the reform many so desperately want to see. According to a press release, The National Criminal Justice Commission Act aims to focus the criminal justice system in a critical way, analyzing its every action with a fine toothed comb. The act plans to "review the criminal justice system from top to bottom and propose reforms to address the most pressing issues facing the nation’s criminal justice system. Senator Harris is firm in her belief that it will create the change we want to see.
"As a former prosecutor, I have been privileged to see our criminal justice system up close—how it works and how it doesn’t work," Harris said. "At a time when court dockets are overloaded and the bonds between law enforcement and the communities they serve needs to be strengthened, a smart on crime approach is essential. I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and organizations across the political spectrum to continue this important conversation and propose constructive and innovative ways forward.”
So, What Does It Do?
Through an 18-month analyzation, the National Criminal Justice Commission will lead a "comprehensive review" of the criminal justice system amongst all local, federal, state and tribal communities. If changes need to occur, the commission will be responsible for seeing to it that they're made. The keys? "To reduce crime, increase public safety and promote confidence in the criminal justice system."
Who's Joining Senator Harris?
According to the press release, the following bipartisan politicians will be joining Senator Harris in her efforts:
Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mark Warner (D-VA), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
Who Makes Up the Commission?
According to the press release, Presidential and Congressional appointees are directly involved. That includes "experts on law enforcement, criminal justice, victims’ rights, civil liberties and social services."