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Presidential Advisor Ramps Up the Push for Criminal Justice Reform

September 28, 2018, on Criminal Defense Articles, Criminal Investigations |

There are many widely-recognized problems with the criminal justice system in the United States. Overly-harsh mandatory minimum sentencing rules have led to mass incarceration, with people often serving long prison sentences for minor offenses. This has led to the U.S. having one of the world's largest incarceration rates. This is also why it is so imperative that anyone who has been accused of wrongdoing get help from an Albany criminal defense lawyer who can provide assertive representation when navigating the criminal justice system.

The fact that the problems with the criminal laws in this country is recognized is a good sign, but unfortunately efforts to reform the system have largely stalled respite bipartisan support for change. Hopefully, further efforts will be ramping up to pass some legislation in the future as Washington Posts reports that Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and a high-profile White House official, has begun ramping up a push for reforms.

The Push for Criminal Justice Reform

According to the Washington Post, Jared Kushner made a surprise appearance on a conference call with reporters in August in order to promote his plans for criminal justice reform on Capitol Hill.

When speaking with reporters, Kushner indicated that the White House is “very close” to putting forth a finalized criminal justice reform package in the Senate. If this is the case, this could help to break the logjam on this issue as it is the Senate where efforts for criminal justice reform have failed as a result of internal divisions within the Republican party. 

Kushner has been working for several months with lawmakers in both the House and Senate to try to create a compromise policy addressing federal prison rules, as well as mandatory minimum sentencing laws which many blame for the mass incarceration crisis.  Kushner and the Trump White House have reportedly had some success in getting compromises on key issues, but the Washington Post indicates that there's still a long way to go before there is a bill ready to be voted on in the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. House of Representatives already passed a pared-down criminal justice reform package earlier in the year with bipartisan support, so if the Senate is able to reach an agreement on legislation that could potentially come to a vote, there is a real prospect that criminal justice reform could eventually occur.

Kushner indicated in the conference call with reporters that it is important to continue to keep up public pressure for reform in order to build on the growing momentum for change.

While efforts on the part of the Trump administration could potentially help to spur action on criminal justice, it is unlikely big changes will be made in an election year and the prospects of legislation after the election aren't that strong. The system is likely to continue to have serious flaws, and those who are caught up in the criminal justice system need to ensure they are represented by a skilled Albany criminal defense lawyer who can fight for them.

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