Winnable and under-discussed justice reform ideas for 2016

by Bernadette Rabuy and Peter Wagner, December 21, 2015

With the 2016 legislative sessions about to start, it’s time to unveil our third annual list of under-discussed but winnable criminal justice reforms.

The list is published as a briefing with links to more information and model bills, and it was recently sent to reform-minded state legislators across the country. The reform topics we think are ripe for legislative victory are:

  • Ending prison gerrymandering
  • Lowering the cost of calls home from prison or jail
  • Repealing or reforming ineffective and harmful sentencing enhancement zones
  • Protecting in-person family visits from the video visitation industry
  • Stopping automatic driver’s license suspensions for drug offenses unrelated to driving
  • Protecting letters from home in local jails
  • Requiring racial impact statements for criminal justice bills
  • Repealing “Truth in Sentencing”
  • Creating a safety valve for mandatory minimum sentences
  • Immediately eliminating “pay only” probation and regulating privatized probation services
  • Reducing pretrial detention

Let us know what you think of this year’s list. We look forward to working together to make 2016 a year of great progress for justice reform!

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