As people of faith we know that Jesus loved and acted in solidarity with those that society cast aside. Scripture reminds us that we too are called to “remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (Hebrews 13:3, NIV)
Congress is uniquely poised to re-structure our sentencing laws. Now is the moment. Call on your elected officials to support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act!
S. 2123 would address years of unjust and inflexible sentencing laws that mete out punishments that do not fit the crimes committed. Mandatory minimum sentences have contributed to an overwhelming increase in the federal prison population since 1980. These penalties are unwarranted, exacerbate racial disparities and perpetuate dangerous and expensive prison overcrowding.
In addition the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act would:
- Permit courts to reduce mandatory minimum prison terms;
- Retroact the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 permitting the resentencing of convicted crack cocaine offenders;
- Provide for the automatic sealing and expungement of records of non-violent juvenile offenses and prohibit juvenile solitary confinement.
In 2015, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ identified mass incarceration as a critical human and civil rights issue and resolved to turn the tide of institutionalized racism and economic injustice within mass incarceration. Now is the time to act. Urge Congress to support the bi-partisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act and move Criminal Justice Reform in the right direction.