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house Bill H.R. 2944

Can Criminal Justice Reforms Help Reduce the Size and Cost of Federal Prisons?

Argument in favor

By focusing on violent and career criminals, the reforms in this bill would limit the size and cost of the federal prison system — without undermining public safety. Overcriminalization is rampant across the country, alternatives to lengthy sentences are a concrete way to reduce prison populations.

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08/28/2015
"For people who have committed crimes that have landed them in jail, there needs to be a path back from prison. The federal system of parole needs to be reinstated. We need real education and real skills training for the incarcerated." [betterworld.net]
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BarackObama's Opinion
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08/28/2015
"I think we have a tendency sometimes to almost take for granted or think it's normal that so many young people end up in our criminal justice system. It's not normal. It's not what happens in other countries. What is normal is teenagers doing stupid things." [cnn.com]
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DonaldTrump's Opinion
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08/28/2015
“I have to say this, in terms of our cities and in terms of the violent offenses, we have to get tougher. The police are fantastic people and they have to be allowed to do their job... [but in terms of drugs and marijuana] there have to be changes. ” [msnbc.com]
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Argument opposed

Reforming the federal prison system by following states is shortsighted — plenty of states haven’t enacted any prison reforms of their own. Not to mention this bill's disregard for criminal behavior. Drug offenders and other "low level" offenders have still committed crimes and need to be punished.

ScottWalker's Opinion
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08/28/2015
“Years ago, I authored legislation that required certainty in sentencing so victims like the woman I met in Green Bay can know how long the man who attacked her will be behind bars — whether it is two or 20 years. As a victim, she deserves to be a part of that process and she deserves to have the peace of mind of knowing how long he will be in prison.” Read more at https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/get-people-ready-work
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Ryan's Opinion
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07/31/2015
The problems is the laws are not being enforced to begin with.. We don't need more laws. Just enforce the ones we already have.
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Curmudgeon's Opinion
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07/28/2015
Establish prisons offshore where there will be no need to maintain such perimeter security. Why was Alcatraz left to close when it was such a good example of the concept. Of course we would have to choose locations beyond the range of remote control drones today and remain vigilant of air traffic to prevent delivery of survival flotation etc.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJune 25th, 2015
    "For people who have committed crimes that have landed them in jail, there needs to be a path back from prison. The federal system of parole needs to be reinstated. We need real education and real skills training for the incarcerated." [betterworld.net]
    Like (149)
    Follow
    Share
    “Years ago, I authored legislation that required certainty in sentencing so victims like the woman I met in Green Bay can know how long the man who attacked her will be behind bars — whether it is two or 20 years. As a victim, she deserves to be a part of that process and she deserves to have the peace of mind of knowing how long he will be in prison.” Read more at https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/get-people-ready-work
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    "I think we have a tendency sometimes to almost take for granted or think it's normal that so many young people end up in our criminal justice system. It's not normal. It's not what happens in other countries. What is normal is teenagers doing stupid things." [cnn.com]
    Like (62)
    Follow
    Share
    “I have to say this, in terms of our cities and in terms of the violent offenses, we have to get tougher. The police are fantastic people and they have to be allowed to do their job... [but in terms of drugs and marijuana] there have to be changes. ” [msnbc.com]
    Like (42)
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    People should follow all laws, but it's quite clear that some offenses are much less severe than others. Having people in prison for small mistakes such as marijuana use and sale is ridiculous, and needs reform.
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    The problems is the laws are not being enforced to begin with.. We don't need more laws. Just enforce the ones we already have.
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    "Lots of people can talk about criminal justice reform. I have actually done it." [cnn.com]
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    Smoking weed, stealing a car, and cutting someone's head off should not all warrant the same punishment. People have been sent to jail for life for each of those offenses and that is not how the law should work. We need reform.
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    Establish prisons offshore where there will be no need to maintain such perimeter security. Why was Alcatraz left to close when it was such a good example of the concept. Of course we would have to choose locations beyond the range of remote control drones today and remain vigilant of air traffic to prevent delivery of survival flotation etc.
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    “Incarceration can turn low-level lawbreakers into hardened career criminals.” Read more at http://www.nationalreview.com/article/415557/republican-2016ers-are-rethinking-tough-crime-michael-tanner
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    I am voting YEA, but with reservations. There is much about this bill that sounds good. It could potentially help balance the scale of justice. I just hope it doesn't go too far. We're already seeing terrible consequences from Obama's "catch and release" policy where criminal illegal aliens are concerned. Bleeding heart liberals want everyone to play the victim card, so that lawbreakers don't have to be held accountable and suffer the consequences of the bad choices they make. Unfortunately, ours is a nation that has, generally speaking, lost its moral compass. People have turned away from God Almighty and do whatever they want. Thank GOD we HAVE laws and prisons to restrain the LAWLESS! The sad thing is that the law doesn't seem to apply to anyone in the Obama Administration (past or present)! God has told us: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.” (Romans‬ ‭13:1-4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬)
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    All for this if it is strictly limited to FIRST TIME, NON-VIOLENT offenders. Totally opposed to any deviation of that restriction. Common sense.
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    Too many criminals are n prison for minor offenses. Mandatory minimum sentences should be eliminated.
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    To reduce the size and cost just use the simplest solution, eliminate the problem by executing them.
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    Would could have fewer appeals on the death sentence. That would mean fewer criminals on death row for shorter periods of time. Hey if a babies life doesn't count why should a murder's life count. Or ever three time losers.
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    I believe we need to rethink criminal justice from the perspective of keeping Americans safe rather than from the perspective of punishing criminals. I hope that law makers will keep that as their priority and be open to research that shows the effectiveness (or not) of incarceration.
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    The current system of incarceration is tantamount to a modern day Jim Crow.
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    Violent criminals should be put to death immediately. Non violent offenders should serve the maximum sentences
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    No. The only thing that is going to impact the growing prison problem is the life changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.
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    When we have the same yardstick for all, then we won't need so many prisons. The prison population has exploded since we introduced the profit motive.
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