Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act
WASHINGTON, D.C – The Senate’s Judiciary Committee today passed the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (SRCA), a bipartisan bill aimed at recalibrating prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders and granting judges greater discretion at sentencing for lower-level drug crimes, while retaining tools to target violent criminals and ensure public safety. The bill passed by a vote of 16-5 and was introduced in November 2017 by U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) Mike Lee (R-Utah), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
Senator Booker, a member of the Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement:
“After decades of congressional inaction, today marks a meaningful step forward in our efforts to fix a system that has failed to make us safer, wasted taxpayer dollars, undermined the ideal of equal justice under law, and disproportionately burdened communities of color.”
“While by no means a panacea, this bill will begin to fix our broken system of justice, reduce recidivism, and make our communities safer. Democrats and Republicans, members of law enforcement and judges, faith leaders and civil rights activists, and Americans across the country can agree that our bloated criminal justice system grossly misrepresents our priorities as a country. It’s long past time we do something about it. I’m proud of this bill’s strong bipartisan showing in the committee vote, and I urge the Majority Leader to bring it for a vote before the full Senate as quickly as possible.”
Booker has been a key architect of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act since it was first introduced in the Senate in October of 2015. Booker’s work on criminal justice reform spans his career in public service— dating to his days as a tenant lawyer, city council member, and mayor of Newark, where he saw the disparities and inadequacies in the criminal justice system first-hand. As a Senator, Booker has written or cosponsored nearly two dozen bills to reform America’s broken justice system and has become known as one of the most outspoken advocates for criminal justice reform in Congress.