WASHINGTON—Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) today introduced the Prison Reform and Redemption Act, a criminal justice reform bill aimed at lowering recidivism rates among federal offenders.
“A lot of people look to Washington as the hope of the world, and we need to ask daily how we can be the hope of our communities. The Redemption Act answers part of that question.
“Many of America’s federal prisoners will be released eventually, and this bill would help the Department of Justice to provide these men and women with the support they need to become productive neighbors. While fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers are in federal custody, we have the opportunity to help them take responsibility for their decisions and become agents of positive change in their own lives and in the lives of those around them,” said Congressman Collins.
The Redemption Act would establish a post-sentencing risk- and needs-assessment system in federal prisons. Under this system, prisoners would be able to participate in individualized, evidence-based programs to reduce their risk of reoffending.
The bill would enable the Bureau of Prisons to incentivize prisoners to participate in recidivism-reduction activities by allowing them to serve the final days of their sentences in halfway houses or home confinement. The bill would provide for a transition back into their communities following their time of federal incarceration.
“For too long, our broken criminal justice system has destroyed families and wasted hard-earned taxpayer dollars. The current system strips too many Americans of their rightfully earned chance at redemption and a chance for a new life. This is a strong step in the right direction toward reducing recidivism, lowering the crime rate and stopping the wasteful spending of taxpayer money. Thanks to Rep. Collins for his tremendous leadership," said Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the bill’s lead co-sponsor.
Original co-sponsors of the Redemption Act also include House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), as well as Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Karen Bass (D-Calif.).
“The vast majority of federal prisoners will someday get out of prison and it is important to give them tools to become more productive citizens so that they don’t return to a life of crime. The Prison Reform and Redemption Act provides inmates the help they need to successfully reenter society, which will in turn enhance the safety of our communities. I thank Representative Collins for his work on and dedication to this important issue. I look forward to working on this and other initiatives to improve the criminal justice system with Members of Congress and the Trump Administration,”said Chairman Goodlatte.
"I'm delighted to join Congressman Collins and Congressman Jeffries in co-sponsoring this legislation that will provide significant new reforms to ensure that the nation's prison population receives the programmatic support to make them better and contributing citizens. My amendments regarding anger management, counseling and parental tracing are part of those important changes," said Congresswoman Jackson Lee.
"FreedomWorks strongly supports Rep. Collins' Prison Reform and Redemption Act. We have seen a focus on recidivism reduction in states like Georgia and Texas. These states have seen reductions in recidivism and enhanced public safety. This bill brings these evidenced-based, long overdue reforms to the federal level. It will incentivize offenders to lower their risk of recidivism and provide public safety benefits.
“Rep. Collins has been a conservative champion on these issues and more. We thank him for his leadership.”
Holly Harris, Executive Director, Justice Action Network:
“I applaud Rep. Collins and his colleagues for his commitment to public safety. This legislation strengthens vocational, job-training and mental health and drug rehabilitation programming in prisons, ensuring currently incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to successfully reenter society, which will reduce recidivism and make our communities safer. I look forward to working with Rep. Collins and his colleagues to advance this bill, along with other meaningful reforms to our nation’s justice system.”
Faith & Freedom Coalition:
“The [Prison Reform and Redemption] Act promotes public safety and gives people in prison access to the transformational programming they need to earn back the public’s trust and return home as good neighbors.”