Past Year Been Significant for Criminal Justice Reform in America
The overwhelming wave of abuses in the American Criminal Justice System is now starting to subside, but the advocates who have fought for relief must remain diligent as those in power continue to seek to maintain the status quo. For years Americans with influence have demanded change. Advocates such as Charles Koch, Kim Kardashian, Freebird Publishers, and others have maintained a forward momentum in the fight to reform the American Criminal Justice system. Not until this year, however, has America witnessed a significant positive change.
Its been over a year since the passage of The First Step Act and the American people are still waiting to see if the new law can produce the wide spread effect, of Criminal Justice Reform, they've all been promised by their elected officials. With the national elections on the horizon, and the American people patiently awaiting change to a broken criminal justice system, the incumbent President and Congress feel the pressure of convincing voters that they should remain in office. They know that the battle between the people and the "lock 'em up" dinosaurs of our past is sure to be a key issue in the 2020 election. Today, less than eleven months to election, leaves America's elected officials to feel the need for the next "big-ticket" legislative accomplishment.
The passing of the First Step Act gave America hope for change. For years the people have begged for relief from the ineffective law enforcement and prison bureaucracies. History shows that both have feasted on over bloated budgets for decades, and now continue to delay and refuse relief as often as possible.
The new law was a huge advancement of criminal justice reform. But to the confusion of most Americans its relief was left up to the judgment of those who have pushed the Mass-Incarceration agenda over the previous years. In a recent bureau of prison's report, it showed that only an estimated 3000 prisoners, out of the tens of thousands who are eligible, have received any relief at all. That's less than two percent of the estimated federal prison population of 176,322 prisoners.
The BOP also reported that the annual (2018) cost of incarceration fee per prisoner was about $37,500 a year, or about $102 per day. Multiplying this by the loss of nearly 3000 prisoners results in a loss of an estimated $112,500,000 in revenue, usually paid to the bureau of prisons. It's not difficult to realize that the continued loss of cash flow to the bureau of prisons will soon translate into the loss of salaries and contracts paid by the over-inflated prison budget. Thus, the availability of relief under the latest advancements in criminal justice reform becomes a simple matter of money and the job security of the bureau personal who are in charge of granting relief.
For decades lobbyists, including those hired by people with a financial interest in the prison systems, have pushed the Mass-Incarceration agenda. But now, Congress is facing the efforts of hundreds of advocates whose opinions are now being heard. If successful, the American people will have a new hope, the hope that prisons will, one day, be institutions of real correction. A place to rehabilitate, educate, and train the Americans most in need of the help that the government was instituted to provide. Prisons may in the future become that place of correction that the American people believe that they should be.
For more information about recent steps to achieve criminal justice reform, refer to the Inmate Shopper.