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National Criminal Justice Commission Act Passes House Unanimously - Printable Version

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National Criminal Justice Commission Act Passes House Unanimously - h3rm35 - 07-28-2010

http://webb.senate.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/07-28-2010-02.cfm
Webb’s National Criminal Justice Commission Act
 Wins Approval in House of Representatives

Senator Calls for Swift Passage in the Senate

July 28, 2010

Senator Jim Webb’s hallmark legislation, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2010, cleared a major hurdle last night when it passed the U.S. House of Representatives, under the leadership of Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA). Webb, who introduced the legislation in March 2009, today called for swift passage in the Senate. The bill would create a blue-ribbon, bipartisan commission of experts charged with undertaking an 18-month top-to-bottom review of the nation’s criminal justice system and offering concrete recommendations for reform.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the legislation on January 21, 2010, and with 39 bipartisan cosponsors, Webb’s legislation has been supported by a broad spectrum of organizations, including: the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Marijuana Policy Institute, the Sentencing Project, the NAACP, the ACLU, and Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association.

“I want to commend Congressman Delahunt for guiding the National Criminal Justice Commission Act to success in the House,” said Senator Webb. “This bill will take a long overdue, comprehensive review of our criminal justice system – taking a look at what’s broken and what works. With last night’s success, I hope we will see swift legislative action in the Senate.

Continued Webb: “This bill enjoys support from 39 of my Senate colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, and dozens of organizations from across the philosophical spectrum. Essentially all elements in our country that are involved in this issues agree that we need to find the type of solution that’s going to make our system more fair, more efficient, and reduce crime and criminal recidivism in our communities.”

The United States has 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prison population—the highest incarceration rate in the world. The U.S. currently has 7 million people in the criminal justice system and incarcerates more than 2.3 million individuals. The costs are staggering. “We’re putting more and more people in jail each year, and yet 70% of Americans will tell you that they feel less safer in their communities than they did a year ago,” said Webb.

In an effort to combat these alarming trends, the National Criminal Justice Commission would study all areas of the criminal justice system, including federal, state, local and tribal governments’ criminal justice costs, practices, and policies. The commission is tasked with recommending ways to prevent, deter and reduce crime and violence while improving the cost effectiveness of the country’s current programs.

“The bill passed this week will assess the current crisis, reverse these disturbing trends and help save taxpayer money,” said Rep. Delahunt. “I am proud to have joined with Senator Jim Webb on this issue whose tireless efforts championing this bill in the Senate will ensure quick passage.”

For additional resources on the National Criminal Justice Commission Act, visit: http://webb.senate.gov/issuesandlegislation/criminaljusticeandlawenforcement/Criminal_Justice_Banner.cfm

Pathfire: Video will be available via Pathfire’s digital media gateway to subscribers. Instructions to access content can be found at: http://democrats.senate.gov/tv/pathfire/webb.pdf

The actuality “Criminal Justice Process” is accessed on the Actuality System (1-800-511-0763) with ID 5680 or on the web at http://demradio.senate.gov/actualities/webb/webb100728.mp3

Spliced video for website use can be found here.