Bipartisan Coalition Launches to Tackle America’s Broken Criminal Justice System

Justice Reform 02.19,15

An unlikely alliance of prominent conservative and progressive organizations today launched a new coalition to reform America’s criminal justice system.

The Coalition for Public Safety – which includes the ACLU, Americans for Tax Reform, Center for American Progress, Faith & Freedom Coalition, FreedomWorks, Right on Crime, and The Leadership Conference Education Fund – will aim to make the system fairer and more cost effective at every level by seeking commonsense reform and building consensus around comprehensive efforts to fix what is now universally recognized as a broken system.

Despite making up only 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States claims a quarter of the world’s prison population with 2.2 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails – which represents a 500 percent increase in the past 30 years.

It also represents an increasingly pressing civil rights concern.

“We are proud to join a Coalition that makes clear once and for all that reform of the criminal justice system is a national priority, not a partisan issue, said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “We cannot incarcerate our way to safety. It is time for all Americans of conscience to work together to end 30 years of unjust ‘tough on crime’ policies that have disproportionately affected African American, Latino, and low-income communities.”

Specifically, the Coalition hopes reforms will be enacted that will:

  • Reduce our jail and prison populations and associated costs;
  • End the systemic problem of over-criminalization and over-incarceration – particularly of low-income communities and communities of color;
  • Ensure swift and fair outcomes for both the accused and the victims; and
  • Make communities safer by reducing recidivism and breaking down barriers faced by those returning home after detention or incarceration.

To learn more and join the effort, please click here.