Target: Speaker of the House John Boehner
Goal: Support possible solutions to repair the broken criminal justice system affecting the nation.
Currently, as many as one in three Americans hold some kind of criminal record, and because of the continuous rise in technology, these individuals—about 70 million to 100 million—are likely to face major issues throughout their life as a result. The United States criminal justice system is flawed and has allowed punishment even for those with a minor criminal record to become a lifetime experience spanning long after a sentence has been served. Criminal justice reform is not only necessary to restore fairness to the millions of Americans with criminal records, but also to improve the lives of families and communities affected, as well as our nation’s economy.
The bipartisan Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Act of 2015 (REDEEM Act) that was recently introduced could begin to restore this justice in our country. A few ways the REDEEM Act works to reform our nation’s broken criminal justice system is by: allowing Americans convicted of non-violent crimes to have a shot at a job and a normal life by providing a process to seal or expunge records relating to nonviolent crimes or juvenile offenses; establish reasonable reforms to keep youth out of the adult correctional system and protect their privacy to ensure a youthful mistake does not impact their entire lives; make it less likely that low-level adult offenders reoffend.
Overall, this legislation would bring a broad range of benefits to U.S. citizens and our economy. Mass incarceration in our country has resulted in unsustainable costs. The REDEEM Act would work to lessen taxpayers’ burden and ensure that tax dollars are being spent in more productive ways. Supporting the REDEEM Act is a way to begin mending our nation’s broken criminal justice system and repair damages that have already been done to far too many Americans.
Dear Speaker Boehner,
The time has come to begin restoring the damage that the flawed criminal justice system in the U.S. has brought to the lives far too many Americans already. Between 70 million and 100 million Americans are likely to face major obstacles throughout their lives for having some kind of criminal record—even minor records. The issues that our current criminal justice system brings are not simply limited to these individuals with a record, however. Criminal justice reform is necessary in order to bring fairness to the families, communities, and taxpayers of the nation.
In order to help finance prison spending, taxes for Americans has increased. Yet, according to Cory Booker, we have seen fewer resources available for law enforcement, rehabilitative programs, and investments in children to prevent crime in the first place. More than a quarter of a trillion dollars is being drained from our economy each year to fund incarceration, which continues to show unproductive results.
Instead of continuing to allow our nation’s broken criminal justice system to hurt the economy and devastate the lives of Americans with criminal records long after they have finished their sentence, support the REDEEM Act of 2015.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Lonpicman