After two years of ignoring one of the most egregious abuses in America for years, it looks like the United States Congress and President Donald Trump are ready to make some serious changes in the criminal justice and prison systems in 2018. In October 2017, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced that a bipartisan commission is ready to reintroduce the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (SRCA), which would completely overhaul the prison system, especially related to non-violent drug offenders.
Prison reform has been grossly ignored by both parties for over a decade now, despite the call by former President Barack Obama to make changes. The former president acknowledged during both of his runs for the White House that the system is greatly flawed, and that minorities have been disproportionately affected by the laws of the land, yet, he did nothing to actually change the system.
The problem is that both parties talk about values related to prison reform, but neither has really been interested in doing much. Democrats push the idea of making these facilities about correction and a second chance, yet they do little to fund education or propose sentence reductions. Republicans are supposed to be the party of “faith” but they clearly have no real concept of what forgiveness looks like as they push the “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” agenda.
Let’s pray that this bill is just the beginning in seeing real reform come about.