05.14.18

Daines’ Bipartisan Bill Fights Meth Crisis through Criminal Justice Reform

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced his sponsorship of bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017, bringing the total number of bill sponsors to 28 senators. Among other initiatives to strengthen law enforcement, the bill establishes new mandatory penalties to fight the opioid and drug crisis, which includes methamphetamine use.

“There is a meth epidemic in Montana,” said Daines. “It is destroying families and threatening the future potential of communities. This bill will strengthen law enforcement’s ability to help fight this crisis.”

Current and former law enforcement leaders from around the United States recently called on Congress and the White House to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act in a letter to congressional leaders.

The Council of Prison Locals, a group representing 33,000 federal corrections workers in the Bureau of Prisons, last week endorsed the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. The group concluded their letter by saying, “Passing the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act will help reduce the federal inmate populations, better concentrate already scarce resources, and take a big step in helping better protect the federal correctional workers who help keep our communities safe.”                                                                       

Support for the legislation is wide-ranging, with cosponsors from disparate parts of the country and political spectrum. Here is the full list of supporters.

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act empowers law enforcement and judges to refocus limited resources on violent and career criminals, and ensures that consequences for low-level offenses fit the crime. It reduces mandatory minimum sentences for certain low-level, nonviolent offenses while preserving maximum penalties for dangerous criminals. It incentivizes cooperation with law enforcement investigations by giving judges more discretion to lower sentences if criminals cooperate with police. It also establishes new mandatory penalties to fight the opioid crisis, terrorism and crimes of domestic violence. Additionally, the bill includes recidivism reduction programs to prepare low-risk inmates to return to society.

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act is based on state-level comprehensive criminal justice reforms that have reduced crime, incarceration and the taxpayer burden in states across the country. It is cosponsored by more than a quarter of the Senate, evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans, and enjoys bipartisan support from stakeholders and advocates from across the political spectrum.