Sign if you agree: We must put an end to mandatory minimum sentencing

CREDO action
Tell Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan: Fix America's broken criminal justice system

The petition to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Majority Leader Paul Ryan reads:
"End mandatory minimum sentencing policies for drug offenders and solitary confinement for juvenile detainees. Call a vote for the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act now."

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Dear 5849376,

Tell Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan: Fix America's broken criminal justice system.

America's criminal justice system is broken. With five percent of the world's population but a quarter of its prisoners, we are at a crisis point. Our criminal justice system locks up millions of people, tears families apart, fails to make our communities safer and wastes $80 billion a year on mass incarceration.1

People of color bear the brunt of this injustice, but there's finally an opportunity to make change.

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act would end mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenders and solitary confinement for juvenile detainees, two deeply damaging and discriminatory criminal justice policies. It's one of the most significant criminal justice reform bills to be introduced in Congress in the last five years, and it's got bipartisan support, but Congress is dragging its feet. We can't let this bill die. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan could schedule floor votes on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act as soon as Congress come back from fall recess. Speak out now to help make sure they do.

Tell Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan: End destructive criminal justice policies. Call a vote on the Sentencing Reform and Correction Act now. Click here to sign the petition.

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act seeks to undo one of the most devastating policies of the failed war on drugs - mandatory minimum sentencing. Mandatory minimums pushed tens of thousands of people convicted of nonviolent, low-level drug offenses into decades-long prison sentences, destabilizing families and entire communities, the majority of them Black and Latino. Felony convictions also constrain people's lives once they are released from prison - making it impossible for them to find employment, housing and otherwise restart their lives. The Sentencing Reform and Correction Act would retroactively reduce some of the harshest drug sentences, allowing thousands of people to leave prison early. The bill would also prohibit the solitary confinement of juvenile offenders in federal prisons, a barbaric practice known to cause irreparable psychological damage. Teens who are severely isolated, with no human contact for days, sometimes weeks, experience increased suicide rates and stunted development.

Lawmakers should support criminal justice policies that keep our communities safer and end discriminatory laws that oppress people of color and young people.

Tell Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan: End destructive criminal justice policies. Call a vote on the Sentencing Reform and Correction Act now. Click here to sign the petition.

Mass incarceration is one of today's most important civil rights issues. The United States spends $80 billion a year on mass incarceration and in 2013, and 11 states spent more on prisons than education.2 Of the 2.2 million people currently incarcerated in the United States, almost 60 percent are people of color. Nationally, Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated as white people.3 The number of people who are incarcerated in the U.S. continues to rise at an alarming rate. Between 1980 and 2014, the incarceration rate grew by more than 220 percent. Right now, the U.S. incarceration rate is more than four times the world average.4

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act will keep thousands of people out of prison, retroactively reduce overly harsh sentences for drug offenders currently serving time and end the solitary confinement of youth in federal prisons. Tell Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan to pass meaningful prison reforms now. Time is running out.

Tell Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan: End destructive criminal justice policies. Call a vote on the Sentencing Reform and Correction Act now. Click the link below to sign the petition.

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/sentencing_reform_corrections_act?t=7&akid=20160.3291973.i9cpV-

Thank you for speaking out to fix our broken criminal justice system,

Nicole Regalado, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

References

  1. "Economic Perspectives on Incarceration and the Criminal Justice System," Executive Office of the President of the United States, April 2016.
  2. ibid.
  3. Nicole Puglise, "Black Americans incarcerated five times more than white people – report" The Gaurdian, June 18, 2016.
  4. ibid.

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