June 22, 2018
Hatch Endorses Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act
WASHINGTON – Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, this week joined the growing list of bipartisan supporters for the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. The comprehensive criminal justice reform package is supported by a balance of 29 Republican and Democratic senators. The bill was introduced last October by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and favorably reported to the full Senate by a sweeping vote of 16-5.
“I am happy to join Chairman Grassley and many of my colleagues in supporting the sentencing and prison reform measures in the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this comprehensive criminal justice reform package that includes a number of key priorities like meaningful mens rea reform and working judiciously to get it across the finish line,” Hatch said.
“We have a real opportunity to advance comprehensive criminal justice reform that focuses limited law enforcement resources at violent offenders, drug traffickers and criminal masterminds while improving fairness in sentencing for lower-level offenders. This bill uses the cost savings from sentencing reform to pay for important programs to reduce recidivism and prepare inmates to become productive members of society. Senator Hatch has been an outspoken advocate of improving fairness in the criminal justice system and we are grateful for the support,” Grassley and Durbin said.
Support for the legislation is wide-ranging, with cosponsors from disparate parts of the country and political spectrum. Here is the full list of supporters.
The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act empowers law enforcement and judges to refocus limited resources on violent and career criminals, and ensures that consequences for low-level offenses fit the crime. It reduces mandatory minimum sentences for certain low-level, nonviolent offenses while preserving maximum penalties for dangerous criminals. It incentivizes cooperation with law enforcement investigations by giving judges more discretion to lower sentences if criminals cooperate with police. It also establishes new mandatory penalties to fight the opioid crisis, terrorism and crimes of domestic violence. Additionally, the bill includes recidivism reduction programs to prepare low-risk inmates to return to society.
The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act is based on state-level comprehensive criminal justice reforms that have reduced crime, incarceration and the taxpayer burden in states across the country. It is cosponsored by more than a quarter of the Senate, evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans, and enjoys bipartisan support from stakeholders and advocates from across the political spectrum.
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