Yesterday, February 8th, Senator Jim Webb introduced again the National Criminal Justice Commission Act. The legislation, meant to create a bipartisan commission tasked with reviewing the entire criminal justice system and making recommendations for reform, nearly passed into law in December but failed to make it through the Senate.
The criminal justice system continues to grow as 2.3 million incarcerated men, women and youth fill prisons and jails. Looking beyond the bars, individuals have little access to jobs or important public benefits after release, a consequence which affects family members and communities deeply.
Bill Mefford, an advocate with the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society writing for Sojourner’s, put it this way:
The current brokenness in our criminal justice system reveals a justice system in direct opposition to biblical justice. As people of faith we cannot abide an ever-growing justice system characterized by a targeting of the poor and inherent racism.
The MCC Washington Office will continue to support this legislation in connection with MCC’s work in Restorative Justice. To read more of what this work is like, look to our Winter Washington Memo newsletter, “The Message of Reconciliation: U.S. Criminal Justice Reform.”