Senate Judiciary Committee members confirmed September 19 that they plan to reintroduce a criminal justice reform bill which, last year, had broad backing from members of both parties, and law enforcement. Congress’ previous Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act increased judicial discretion in sentencing, reduced sentences for some nonviolent drug offenders, and expanded reentry services for prisoners, according to experts at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the committee, noted his commitment to work with colleagues and advocates, as well as law enforcement, on the final bill to “ensure justice for both the victims and the accused, and support law enforcement in their mission to keep our communities safe.” Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in the same release that it was time to reform “outdated and ineffective laws,” and that he believes the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act is a solution that “would pass the Senate with a strong bipartisan vote – it’s time to get this done.”

Grassley and Durbin’s announcement comes on the heels of an administration meeting on criminal justice reform, where bipartisan advocates and government officials met with Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Trump. Both Grassley and Durbin had spoken with Kushner about reform earlier this year on Capitol Hill.


Brennan Center for Justice