Political Odd Couples Push Sentencing Reform

Post Date: January 16, 2014

(Washington Post) —¬†At a time when partisans in Congress don’t agree on anything, they have found one area where they can: Reforming America’s sprawling and costly prison system.

Nearly 30 years after creating mandatory sentences for drug offenses, an unlikely band of lawmakers is moving forward with their plans to fix what they say is a broken criminal justice system.

At issue is a 1986 law designed to cut the drug crime rate in the United States by limiting the discretion of judges when it comes to prison sentences for drug offenses.

The result, according to advocates, is an overcrowded, expensive prison system filled with people with overly severe sentences.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is working through several reform bills crafted by lawmakers from the liberal and conservative wings of the two parties to put together a plan, which, they say, will help alleviate the financial and humanitarian costs of the spending guidelines.

So who are these unlikely co-sponsors? Read more and watch a video