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Lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would use the power of the purse to reduce incarceration and crime at the same time. The legislation attempts to counter archaic “tough-on-crime” policies coming from the Attorney General.The Reverse Mass Incarceration Act of 2017 was introduced by Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The bill, based on a 2015 proposal by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, is widely-backed by civil rights advocacy groups and supporters of criminal justice reform.

The bill is essentially the reverse of the incentives provided in the “1994 Crime Bill.” Instead of incentivizing states to increase prison populations, the legislation would pay states to decrease them, while keeping down crime. “The Reverse Mass Incarceration Act would do the opposite—it would encourage states to reduce their prison populations and invest money in evidence-based practices proven to reduce crime and recidivism. Our bill recognizes the simple fact that locking more people up does little to make our streets safer. Instead, it costs us billions annually, tears families apart, and disproportionately drives poverty in minority communities,” said Senator Cory Booker.

“Senators Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal have developed a creative policy proposal that would serve as a powerful tool to accelerate state efforts in reversing the damaging impact of mass incarceration,” said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League.

More information, including the bill, can be found at http://nul.iamempowered.com/content/national-urban-league-supports-new-senate-bill-create-incentives-reduce-mass-incarceration.


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