Policy Round-Up: The REDEEM Act

Written by

Nakia Gladden
Nakia Gladden

In the most unlikely of pairs, first-term Senators Corey Booker and Rand Paul, have teamed up to introduce a measure that will create a comprehensive overhaul of the US Criminal Justice system. The legislation, called the Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment (REDEEM Act), was introduced Tuesday, July 8th.

SENATOR BOOKER RELEASED AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT:

“The REDEEM Act (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment) will give Americans convicted of non-violent crimes a second chance at the American Dream. The legislation will help keep kids who get into trouble out of a lifetime of crime and help adults who commit non-violent crimes become more self-reliant and less likely to commit future crimes.”

“I will work with anyone, from any party, to make a difference for the people of New Jersey, and this bipartisan legislation does just that,” Sen. Booker said. “The REDEEM Act will ensure that our tax dollars are being used in smarter, more productive ways. It will also establish much-needed sensible reforms that keep kids out of the adult correctional system, protect their privacy so a youthful mistake can remain a youthful mistake, and help make it less likely that low-level adult offenders reoffend.”

Read the full statement

ED O’KEEFE OF THE WASHINGTON POST WRITES:

“The REDEEM Act proposal would encourage states to raise the age of criminal responsibly to 18 years of age; expunge or seal the records of juveniles who commit non-violent crimes before they turn 15; place limits on the solitary confinement of most juveniles; and establish a system to allow eligible nonviolent criminals to petition a court to ask that their criminal records be sealed. Sealing the records would keep them out of FBI background checks requested by employers and likely make it easier for those former offenders to secure a job.”

“Currently 10 states set the age at which someone can be tried in adult criminal court below 18, a move that the senators said in their statement “sends countless kids into the unforgiving adult criminal system.” In hopes of reversing the trend, Booker and Paul propose giving states that change the minimum age preference when applying for federal community police grants. The same preference would be given to states that allow nonviolent offenders to petition to have their criminal records sealed. Once the records are sealed, an offender could lawfully claim that their records don’t exist.”

To read the full article, visit Washington Post

AMANDA TERKEL OF THE HUFFINGTON POST STATES:

“Bill Piper, national affairs director for the Drug Policy Alliance, said he was excited by the alliance of Booker and Paul.”

“The fact that two young and rising stars of both parties, both rumored to be considering future White House runs, are so passionately embracing criminal justice reform shows how politically popular these issues have become,” he said in a statement. “Voters want reform and smart elected officials know that. This legislation is good policy and good politics.”

To read the full article, visit Huffington Post

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