Increase Public Safety While Reducing Federal Deficit, Says ABA on Criminal Justice Policies

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2011 – In letters sent today to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Committees on the Budget, Appropriations and Judiciary, _ President Stephen N. Zack called for consideration at the federal level of bipartisan measures that have already seen success in the area of criminal justice policy at the state level.

The ABA recommended many policies designed to increase public safety while reducing the federal deficit: expanding the use of probation and expungement of criminal convictions for low-level offenders; instituting a review process to accelerate supervised release eligibility; making retroactive congressional reforms to crack cocaine sentencing; enhancing elderly nonviolent offender early release programs; expanding time credits for good behavior; and restoring proportionality to drug sentencing.

Zack wrote, “There is a growing recognition that our criminal justice system — like other government systems — must be based on what actually works, meet clear performance measures and withstand fiscal scrutiny of cost-benefit analysis.”

The letter sent to Sens. Kent Conrad, Jeff Sessions, Daniel K. Inouye, Thad Cochran, Patrick J. Leahy and Charles Grassley can be found here. The letter sent to Reps. Paul Ryan, Chris Van Hollen, Harold Rogers, Norm Dicks, Lamar Smith and John Conyers can be found here.

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