Red States Are Reversing Criminal Justice Reform

Source: Reason
by CJ Ciaramella

“It was impossible to avoid the ‘strange bedfellows’ cliche when reading about the criminal justice reform movement in the 2010s. Conservatives and evangelicals worked alongside bleeding-heart liberals and civil libertarians to fix what they all 
(at the time) agreed were unjust prison sentences and punitive policies. Fast-forward a decade, and the bipartisan sleepovers are over. Most of the same advocate groups are still lobbying for reform — and notching victories in some states — but the broad-based path for criminal justice reform bills has narrowed or altogether disappeared in other places. Claiming to be responding to rising crime and the excesses of progressive reformers, several Republican-controlled state legislatures have not only reversed progress but also rolled back key reforms: increasing prison sentences, limiting parole and probation, restricting charities that pay bail for offenders, curtailing the discretion of local district attorneys, and gutting civilian police oversight boards.” (for publication 07/24)