Daines Joins Effort to Reform Criminal Justice System

U.S. SENATE — Senator Steve Daines today joined a bipartisan group of Senators to highlight their comprehensive criminal justice legislation that focuses efforts on violent criminals and serious drug offenders and establishes recidivism reduction programs, while granting greater sentencing flexibility for certain low-level drug offenders. 

The bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 narrows the scope of mandatory minimum prison sentences to focus on the most serious drug offenders and violent criminals, while broadening and establishing new outlets for individuals with minimal non-felony criminal histories that may trigger mandatory minimum sentences under current law.  

“Our criminal justice system needs to focus on targeting career criminals and repeat offenders while ensuring our communities are safe for Montana families,” Daines stated.   

Daines co-sponsored the bill after successfully including two provisions. The first adds increased levels of reporting for better data on the impact of the legislation. The second provision ensures that prosecutors have the tools they need to prevent criminals that should not receive early release from getting it. 

The bill also reduces certain mandatory minimums, providing judges with greater discretion when determining appropriate sentences, and preserves cooperation incentives to aid law enforcement in tracking down kingpins. In addition to reducing prison terms for certain offenders through sentencing reform, qualifying inmates can earn reduced sentences through recidivism reduction programs.

The bill is sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mike Lee, (R-UT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Tim Scott (R-SC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ.), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN),  Rob Portman (R-OH), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mark Warner (D-VA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).