Criminal justice reform advocates say Obama’s executive actions on guns won’t poison their 2016 agenda

posted at 6:41 pm on January 21, 2016 by Matt Vespa

The Coalition for Public Safety’s (CPS) action arm, the U.S. Justice Action Network, is already planning on tripling the number of target states this year, but they also know the political obstacles that rest in their way. It’s an election year. Some politicians might not be so willing to be aggressive on an issue that some conservatives still view as a pathway to being soft on crime. For starters, President Obama’s executive actions on gun control might poison the well, given the intensity of the issue. Yet, the organization’s executive director, Holly Harris, told Townhall that she doesn’t feel this issue will be the iceberg that sinks their legislative agenda this year, as none of its provisions are attached to anything related to the Second Amendment.

Harris cited the progress in Congress on this issue, specifically Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’s insistence that the criminal justice bill voted out of committee last year should be brought to the floor for a vote, as a sign that this issue’s bipartisan appeal would not be shaken by the president’s recent attempt to undermine our Second Amendment rights.

The two bills voted out of the House Judicial Committee on the eve of President Obama’s last State of the Union address are another sign that gun control won’t torpedo criminal justice reform’s efforts for 2016.

The Second Chance Reauthorization Act and the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act remove barriers to those re-entering society, such as housing and job training, and provides more assistance in the treatment of mental illness and drug addiction.

“More than 600,000 people finish their sentences and exit federal and state prisons every year, so this legislation is going to have a significant impact on many Americans who are looking for ways to contribute to society and turn their lives around,” said Harris. “We need our lawmakers to remove barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated people so they can find jobs, support their families and lead crime-free lives. Ultimately that saves taxpayer dollars and makes society safer.”

As for obstacles, it’s no secret that Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has been a huge proponent of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Yet, Harris noted that the senator has been shown data and other evidence to suggest how mandatory minimums have become a fundamentally unfair practice, especially towards nonviolent drug offenders. That shift was evident in October of 2015, when the Sentencing Reform and Correction Act was voted out of committee­–with Grassley’s support.

Jason Pye of FreedomWorks mentioned before Christmas how the first quarter of the year would be critical. At least members of this coalition can rest somewhat easy that gun control won’t upset the criminal justice reform agenda, but time could.


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Comments

And away goes more money down the drain. Roto Rooter.

vnvet on January 21, 2016 at 6:51 PM

And a whole bunch of us say shove it up their assholes. We want the criminals locked up, throw away the key for the violent ones. They are very out numbered.

stephana on January 21, 2016 at 6:56 PM

The Coalition for Public Safety’s (CPS) action arm, the U.S. Justice Action Network, is already planning on tripling the number of target states this year, but they also know the political obstacles that rest in their way. It’s an election year. Some politicians might not be so willing to be aggressive on an issue that some conservatives still view as a pathway to being soft on crime. For starters, President Obama’s executive actions on gun control might poison the well, given the intensity of the issue. Yet, the organization’s executive director, Holly Harris, told Townhall that she doesn’t feel this issue will be the iceberg that sinks their legislative agenda this year, as none of its provisions are attached to anything related to the Second Amendment.

Nothing in this first paragraph tells me what these advocates/Coalition/Network (which is it?) actually do. The closest hint is “some conservatives still view as a pathway to being soft on crime”.

Are these the guys who want shorter sentencing?

Magicjava on January 21, 2016 at 6:59 PM

“Coalition for Public Safety” name sounds almost exactly like “Committee of Public Safety”, the guys behind the Reign of Terror in revolutionary France.

I wonder how long till a Socialist National party forms.

nemo on January 21, 2016 at 7:22 PM

Are these the guys who want shorter sentencing?

Magicjava on January 21, 2016 at 6:59 PM

No. They’re guys who want salary, benefits, and pension.

Mimzey on January 21, 2016 at 7:51 PM

“Coalition for Public Safety” name sounds almost exactly like “Committee of Public Safety”, the guys behind the Reign of Terror in revolutionary France.

I wonder how long till a Socialist National party forms.

nemo on January 21, 2016 at 7:22 PM

Considering how heavily groups like this skew Democrat in membership, candidate support, contributions, etc., I’d say we already have one. And we’ve had it for over a century, going back at least to Woodrow Wilson.

“More than 600,000 people finish their sentences and exit federal and state prisons every year, so this legislation is going to have a significant impact on many Americans who are looking for ways to contribute to society and turn their lives around,” said Harris.

Actually, less than 10% are interested in anything like that. The other 90% just want to pick up where they left off- not only is it “where the money is”, it’s easier and more fun than working for a living. BTW, most of them have never held an actual “job” job; their definition of “job” generally has something like “bank” tacked on in front of it.

“We need our lawmakers to remove barriers to employment for formerly incarcerated people so they can find jobs, support their families and lead crime-free lives. Ultimately that saves taxpayer dollars and makes society safer.”

Again, they don’t define “job” that way. Also, “baby daddy” does not equal “family man”. And they define “leading a crime-free life” as “selling out”. (To say nothing of “acting white”.)

We have a criminal sub-culture in society which probably cannot be “rehabilitated” because they were never “habilitated” to begin with. They like being criminals, like doing drugs, dealing drugs, robbing, raping, looting, and killing, and think it’s a mega-cool lifestyle that looks good on them. Judging from the movies these days, I suspect Hollywood’s progressive majority agrees with their worldview.

I don’t know how to break this to Ms. Harris and her crowd, but if even one out of ten of their “clients” isn’t back in court within a month of going through their program, I’d consider that a miracle.

But then, I’m not a theorist, activist, idealist, or etc.

I’m just used to dealing with actual offenders. When they’re not “on their best behavior”, which really means “BS’ing the social ‘reformer’ a mile a minute to get her on your side so you can get out and get back to having fun faster”.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 21, 2016 at 7:55 PM

Nothing stops leftists, nothing. When confronted with anything that stands between them and total control, they double and triple down. No matter how long it takes and no matter how many stumbling blocks are placed before them…they are unstoppable, relentless and vicious. I loathe them…

…but wish we had this kind of intestinal fortitude from our so called representatives.

AppraisHer on January 21, 2016 at 8:20 PM

Why would conservatives support Hillary’s agenda for massive release of “non violent” drug offenders who deal drugs and spawn other crime among their clients at the same time she wants to disarm law-abiding Americans so they cannot defend themselves after the Black Lives Matter hooligans that Hillary praises intimidate the police from doing their jobs and drive law enforcement back out of the minority communities?

KW64 on January 21, 2016 at 8:52 PM

There was a really good NRA ad on during O’Reilly stating that Chicago could be cleaned up by enforcing existing gun laws.

talkingpoints on January 21, 2016 at 8:58 PM


I don’t know how to break this to Ms. Harris and her crowd, but if even one out of ten of their “clients” isn’t back in court within a month of going through their program, I’d consider that a miracle.

But then, I’m not a theorist, activist, idealist, or etc.

I’m just used to dealing with actual offenders. When they’re not “on their best behavior”, which really means “BS’ing the social ‘reformer’ a mile a minute to get her on your side so you can get out and get back to having fun faster”.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 21, 2016 at 7:55 PM

I wish there were some way of recalling politicians when their ideas don’t pan out in practice.
Elections are too slow and unsure.

AesopFan on January 21, 2016 at 10:59 PM

We have a criminal sub-culture in society which probably cannot be “rehabilitated” because they were never “habilitated” to begin with. They like being criminals, like doing drugs, dealing drugs, robbing, raping, looting, and killing, and think it’s a mega-cool lifestyle that looks good on them.

eon on January 21, 2016 at 7:55 PM

Exactly. If she wants to reach the point where

this legislation is going to have a significant impact on many Americans who are looking for ways to contribute to society and turn their lives around

she needs to first work on making the last part of that sentence actually be true. That’s where the logjam is, and always has been.

Fix that part, so that people coming out of prison actually are, in the main,

looking for ways to contribute to society and turn their lives around

not just looking for ways to keep doing much the same things only without getting caught this time, and the problem becomes one of educating them in what options are available. Easy, comparatively anyway. Charities and churches have been doing this for millenia.

Just to be clear, “turn your life around” and “not get caught this time” are not synonymous concepts, Ms. Harris.

GrumpyOldFart on January 22, 2016 at 9:52 AM