Senate passes sweeping criminal justice reform bill

Senate passes sweeping criminal justice reform bill

Senate passes sweeping criminal justice reform bill

"I think mandatory minimum sentences can sometimes have impacts that you look at it and say aren't fair, but we also have to recognize mandatory and minimum sentences have taken really awful human beings off the streets for long periods of time", he added.

"While the bill has marginally improved from earlier versions, I'm disappointed my amendments to exclude child molesters from early release and to protect victims' rights were not adopted", Sen.

The bill received a major boost last month when Trump endorsed it as "reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping risky and violent criminals off our streets".

It also reduces the second strike mandatory minimum of 20 years to 15 years, and reduces the 3rd strike mandatory minimum of life in prison to 25 years.

Sen. Dick Durbin of IL calls the proposals "poison pills" that would unravel bipartisan support for the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the quick turn of events, saying it was a "simple" bill but will show that Republicans, who have majority control of Congress, will finish the year by governing rather that prolonging a potential crisis.

"With respect to the substance of the legislation, a number of members continue to have outstanding concerns that the bill now leaves unaddressed", McConnell said from the Senate floor, The Hill reported.

Now the Senate is turning its attention to several amendments.

Before passing the bill, the Senate defeated amendments by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and John Kennedy that would have further tightened requirements.

It allows for more criminals to serve their sentences in halfway houses or under home confinement, and requires offenders to be jailed within 500 miles (800km) from their families. As the Lincoln Journal-Star reported, Sasse said he opposes the bill because "it will release thousands of violent felons very early". More phone time, reduced sentences, 'compassionate release, ' and early release credits. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told The Hill.

The U.S. Department of Justice found that an estimated 2,162,400 people were being incarcerated in federal and state prisons and county jails in 2016. "This takes away the victim's autonomy to choose to remain informed and notified, and autonomy is a key tenet of trauma-informed victim/survivor assistance".

Cotton, who had previously spoken about standing in the way of the bill, did not object to those amendments.

The prisoners that will be impacted by this bill are those who are behind bars for non-violent crimes such as drug possession.

Among other provisions, the bill aims to lower the number of federal inmates through changes in some sentencing laws and through better support for prisoners returning to society so they don't commit new crimes and return to prison.

Other groups that supported the bill included the Fraternal Order of Police, the Center for American Progress and the Koch brother, among others. But in a brief statement Tuesday night, Rubio vaguely said the bill "did not address serious concerns raised by local law enforcement, federal prosecutors and constituents in Florida about the sentencing reforms in this bill".

The vote in the Senate Tuesday was 87-12.

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