Opinion: 5 things you need to know about compassion Biden 2022-04-26 21:22:55


Biden, who pardoned three people and commuted the sentences of 75 others, is too open lanes To new opportunities for people in our fractured criminal justice system. It’s not enough to get people out of prison – we need to prepare them for success too. That’s why the administration announced that it will provide better access to education, job training, small business capital, health care, and more.
1. It is a sign of continued bipartisan momentum on this issue. It’s an indication that Biden is taking reform seriously, just as former President Donald Trump did when he signed into law the first step of bipartisan criminal justice reform. Former President Barack Obama also Signing the Criminal Justice Act was awarded Record number of substitutions. These three presidents don’t agree on much, but they all pushed the issue on second chances. Now, Biden has raised the release cap Three pardons and 75 mitigations. While he has granted amnesty to only a fraction of the pending petitions, he is More than the last five ancestors They have issued at this point in their presidency.
2. He also announced major reforms. Compassion grabs the headlines, but Details announced Tuesday will change a large number of lives. The department has committed to a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Ministries of Labor and Justice to provide job training and help people get back on their feet when they leave prison. It also announced more than 20 different measures to make it easier for people to return to their communities and lead productive lives, including expanding access to Pell Grants, hiring incarcerated people on infrastructure projects, facilitating access to housing, and veterans benefits. and Medicare.
3. Reforms like this make our neighborhoods safer. Leaders on both sides agree that our criminal justice system is broken. We spend a lot of money locking up a lot of people — and we do so little to address the true sources of crime, such as a lack of opportunity. certificate suggest That if we want safe neighborhoods, we need a criminal justice system that actually rehabilitates people and makes them less likely to be imprisoned again. We need to make it easier for people who own up to their mistakes and take their time to go home and start contributing to their communities. Tuesday’s easing and reforms are a step in that direction.
4. Some of these people must be at home with their families. The First Step Act gave imprisoned people an opportunity to earn time off from their sentence through good behavior or taking steps to improve themselves. But the legislation was Not retroactivelymeaning a lot of deserving people – including about the third Of those who had their sentences commuted today – they were not eligible. By making future reforms retroactive, we can reward personal growth without subjecting many people to the lengthy and confusing process of compassion.

5. We need to continue to pay. Today, 78 lives have changed. The programs will improve the lives of countless people to create new opportunities for those who have taken the time. But there are still millions of people stuck in an often unfair and cruel system that spends too much while doing too little. While there is no coherent presidential administration, clemency today shows that there is support for reform within Biden’s team. It is up to the rest of us to continue to agitate and advocate for further reforms.

what is next? The Senate needs to pass Equality Lawthat you will eliminate the differences Between crack cocaine sentences and those related to powder cocaine. This measure is already passed the house With overwhelming bipartisan support and a number of Republican senators agreed to support the legislation. The Biden administration also needs to do more work, for example, making sure that the funding announced today actually leads to robust programs across the country.

But today we can celebrate that the growing bipartisan movement to reform our criminal justice system continues to build momentum — and that these people have been given a real shot at a second chance.