The House Judiciary Committee is poised to take up several bills dealing with justice reform. Among the bills scheduled for markup on Wednesday are the Sentencing Reform Act, sponsored by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and the Criminal Code Improvement Act, introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). FreedomWorks has released letters of support for both bills.
In a video released by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Goodlatte explained the effort, which is part of his Criminal Justice Reform Initiative announced in June. “We want to make sure our federal laws and regulations effectively and appropriately punish wrongdoers, protect individual freedom, safeguard civil liberties, work as efficiently and fairly as possible, do not impede state efforts, and do not waste taxpayer dollars,” he said. “Through the Committee’s initiative, we are addressing issues such as over-criminalization, sentencing reform, prison and reentry reform, improved criminal procedures and policing strategies, and civil asset forfeiture reform.”
Each aspect of justice reform that Goodlatte mention is vitally important. The lengthy sentencing policies of the past have contributed significantly to the rise in the federal prison population and the lack of substantive rehabilitative programming in federal prisons have continued the endless cycle of crime and poverty that plagues many communities. The federal government’s civil asset forfeiture laws are an affront to the due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment and Congress’ proclivity for passing criminal laws and allowing unelected bureaucrats to promulgate regulations tied to these statutes has led to an over-criminalization epidemic.
Since the beginning…