SENATE TO VOTE ON NATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION ACT: CALL YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT PASSAGE

Many people around the country have maintained pressure on senate leadership to support the National Criminal Justice Commission Act (NCJCA), legislation that would create a bipartisan Commission to review and identify effective criminal justice policies and make recommendations for reform.  Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) will offer his bill as an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill.  The vote is expected to occur on Wednesday.

Last year, the legislation came very close to passage after having passed the House of Representatives and the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. I hope you will help us go all the way this Congress.  Please call your Senators who are listed below and ask them to VOTE YES on Senator Webb’s NCJCA amendent to the CJS appropriations bill this week.

ACTION NEEDED:
If one or both of your Senators are listed below, please ask to be connected to their office by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

When connected, please ask your Senator to VOTE YES on Senator Webb’s National Criminal Justice Commission Act amendment to the CJS appropriations bill this week!

Senators (listed alphabetically by state):

Alaska Lisa Murkowski (R)
Mark Begich (D)
Arkansas Mark Pryor (D)
California Dianne Feinstein (D)
Colorado Michael Bennet (D)
Connecticut Joseph I. Liberman (I) Richard Blumenthal (D)
Delaware Thomas R. Caper (D) Christopher Coons (D)
Hawaii Daniel K. Inouye (D) Daniel K. Akaka (D)
Illinois Mark Steven Kirk (R)
Indiana Richard G. Lugar (R)
Maine Olympia J. Snowe (R) Susan M. Collins (R)
Massachusetts Scott Brown (R)
Michigan Debbie A. Stabenow (D)
Montana Max Baucus (D) Jon Tester (D)
Nebraska Ben Nelson (D)
North Dakota Kent Conrad (D) John Hoeven (R)
Ohio Rob Portman (R)
Oregon Jeff Merkley (D)
Rhode Island Jack Reed (D)
South Dakota Tim Johnson (D)
Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)
Utah Orrin G. Hatch (R)
Vermont Bernie Sanders (I)
Washington Maria Cantwell (D)
West Virginia John D. Rockefeller (D) Joe Manchin (D)
Wisconsin Herb Kohl (D)

MESSAGE:

I am calling to ask the Senator to VOTE YES on Senator Webb’s National Criminal Justice Commission Act amendment to the CJS Appropriations bill this week, because:

  • Having a transparent and bipartisan Commission review and identify effective criminal justice policies would increase public safety.
  • The increase in incarceration over the past twenty years has stretched the system beyond its limits. These high costs to taxpayers are unsustainable, especially during these tough economic times.
  • The proposed commission would conduct a comprehensive national review – not audits of individual state systems – and would issue recommendations – not mandates – for consideration.

If you have questions or want to report the outcome of your calls, please contact Kara Gotsch at kgotsch@sentencingproject.org.  Thank you so much for your help!

If your senator believes the U.S. criminal justice system is faring just fine, please ask them to provide a cost-benefit analysis of this government program.  Ask why California is under Supreme Court order to reduce the population, and why prisoners are on hunger strike.  Ask why Troy Davis’ last court ruling was never reviewed before being murdered by the state of Georgia.  There are many things to ask; the Commission is proposed to develop some answers.

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About Bruce Reilly

Bruce Reilly is the Deputy Director of Voice of the Ex-Offender in New Orleans, LA. He is a graduate of Tulane Law School and author of NewJack's Guide to the Big House. Much of his writing can be found on www.Unprison.org.
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