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January 11, 2024

US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing set on "Five Years of the First Step Act: Reimagining Rehabilitation and Protecting Public Safety"

I was pleased to discover today that the US Senate Judiciary Committee has announced it will have a full committee hearing next week on this topic: "Five Years of the First Step Act: Reimagining Rehabilitation and Protecting Public Safety."  This official site reports the hearing will be Wednesday, January 17th, 2024, at 10:00am EST, and that site also will stream the event live.

I presume we will find out about the invited witnesses next week, and I am looking forward to seeing both written and live testimony in the days ahead.  

January 11, 2024 at 01:53 PM | Permalink


I'd rather see the powers that be address this issue with public safety . . ..


Posted by: federalist | Jan 11, 2024 2:32:46 PM

Whenever you see the word "reimagining," that's a tipoff that the actual agenda is "dumbing down to favor the criminal" and dilute whatever is left of accountability. (This applies generally, except to Jan 6 defendants, as to whom the gallows can't be high enough).

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 11, 2024 8:04:27 PM

federalist, that story you posted has nothing to do with guns, yet they put the "gun free zone" in the title to grab attention. That, I think, is a bigger problem than the handful of repeat offenders out there. By sensationalizing a story, it brings attention where it shouldn't belong. The better question is why this guy keeps committing crimes. Obviously, locking him up didn't fix that problem. Would keeping him locked up longer fix him? No, but it would by default protect the public since he's not on the street. But is that the answer? Do we go back to locking people up for a long time or forever in the name of "public safety?" Who's going to pay for warehousing all these people? Scare the public enough and they might, but only for a while. The public is realizing the lock-em-up mentality doesn't work and it's a waste of money. I think if people who really want to address the "public safety" issue you mention get honest, they're going to have to put some effort into fixing the problem at the root. Continually promoting that people need to be locked up is not the answer. Yes, some people just can't fit in society, but those are extremely rare cases. There are thousands, if not millions, of felons in Chicago. They're not all beating ladies to steal their purses.

Posted by: ZenLawGuy | Jan 12, 2024 10:56:19 AM

ZenLawGuy - thank you for promoting my general theme about criminal law - locking up people in the name of "public safety" (except for the very rare cases) is at least shortsighted or wasteful and at worst counterproductive. Brett Miler

Posted by: Brett Miler | Jan 12, 2024 4:04:35 PM

Good grief. We have a half century of experience to tell us what works and what doesn't. In the 30 year period, 1960 - 1990, we tried the medical model/rehabilitation theory. Crime surged; it's no exaggeration to say we had a 30 year-long crime wave.

The country had enough and, in the mid- to late-eighties, we adopted reforms that became effective in the early 1990's. The reforms consisted of hiring more police; engaging in more aggressive and pro-active policing like broken windows policing; and adopting sentencing guidelines in a majority of jurisdictions, resulting in greater use of incarceration.

Crime dropped dramatically, by close to half. The murder rate dropped by more than half. As a result, thousands of lives, most of them black, were saved.

Pro-criminal cliches won't tell you what you need to (but prefer not to) know. Facts will. Here they are: https://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

The Left doesn't want to "go back to the humane approach." It wants to go back to the violent, crime-ridden failures of the Sixties and Seventies, even though we all know we can do, and very recently have done, much better.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 12, 2024 10:35:22 PM

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