Presidential Candidates Highlight Criminal Justice Reform
During the Fox News debate on January 28, two Republican candidates emphasized the need for criminal justice reform across the nation. Senator Rand Paul spoke of the need to address the failed policies regarding the war on drugs, while focusing on the need to reduce incarceration rates, particularly in the African-American community. Senator Paul noted he has been a “leader in Congress on trying to bring about criminal justice reform.” Additionally, Governor John Kasich opined individuals rotating in and out of the prison system is undesirable, because it contradicts the conservative message that promoting economic growth requires opportunity for all individuals. “Everyone ought to have a chance to be able to rise to their God-given purpose,” he stated.
ALEC remains committed to criminal justice reform and is thankful for Senator Paul and Governor Kasich for bringing these issues to the limelight during the debate. ALEC supports reducing incarceration rates by providing alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent, low-risk offenders. Furthermore, ALEC favors alternatives to mandatory minimums for offenders who meet certain criteria by giving greater sentencing discretion to judges. Both of these reforms aim to reduce incarceration rates and allow those who have committed certain nonviolent crimes an opportunity to advance their lives.