Nevadans Urge Senators Reid and Heller to Support Criminal Justice Reform

Media 05.26,16

CARSON CITY, NVOn Thursday, May 26, Nevada advocates and leaders hosted a call to urge their senators, Harry Reid and Dean Heller, to support the pending bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. 

The bill, which would implement urgently needed reforms to the nation’s criminal justice system, was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee more than 200 days ago. It has support from conservatives, liberals, and community advocates from across the country. The bill provides a rare moment of bipartisan consensus on the critical issue of criminal justice reform, and advocates are urging Senators Reid and Heller to support it.

Click here to listen to an MP3 recording of the call.

Below are quotes from the call.

Speaker of the Nevada Assembly John Hambrick

“It is shocking how many young people are in prison for an extended period of time and are not even eligible for parole. Many of these young people, if given the right opportunities, could become leaders and citizens in their communities. I hope that our congressional delegation, Senators Heller and Reid, will hear our pleas and understand that we need to give these individuals a good look and a second chance.”

Minority Leader of the Nevada Senate Aaron Ford

“I strongly encourage our Senators, Reid and Heller, to cosponsor this legislation to make important reforms to our criminal justice system so we can continue moving our state and our nation forward.

We need to provide opportunities to those who have done their time to equip them to be a part of their communities. Barriers have been set up for these individuals, allowing them to be legally discriminated against in housing, employment, and education. Those opportunities should be opened up to them so that we can encourage rehabilitation and integration back into society.”

Holly Welborn, Policy Director of the ACLU of Nevada

“The ACLU of Nevada encourages Senators Reid and Heller to support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. While much more needs to be done to fully address the problem of mass incarceration in both the federal and state systems, the SRCA is a critical first step in the right direction. This bill has significant bipartisan support and the overwhelming support of the public. Senators Reid and Heller should listen to the 7 in 10 Nevada voters who support sentencing reform by voting in favor of the SRCA.”

Reverend Neal Anderson of the Unitarian Universalists Fellowship of Northern Nevada

“As people of faith, we think that criminal justice reform is a moral imperative. As faith communities, we witness the wreckage on families and communities that are created through a justice system that over the past 40 years has become more interested in revenge and punitive penalties than in being a system of redemption, rehabilitation, and restoration of our communities. We are hopeful that Senator Reid and Senator Heller will see fit to support this act, as a much needed start to criminal justice reform.”