Top Senate Republicans and Democrats have reached a bipartisan deal on criminal justice reform, a breakthrough that has been years in the making. The proposal, which may be announced as soon as Thursday, has the crucial backing of Sen. Chuck Grassley, the conservative chair of the Judiciary Committee.
The bill would reform federal prison sentencing to reduce some of the automatic and harsh punishments Congress passed since it began cracking down on drug use. It would end the federal “three strikes” rule and limit the use of mandatory 10-year sentences for offenders who have not committed violent or major felonies.
Beyond reforming the length of some prison terms, the bill would also bulk up rehab programs for selected inmates, including job training, drug treatment and religious programs designed to reduce recidivism. The proposal also restricts the use of solitary confinement for juveniles, an increasingly controversial practice in American prisons.
Much of the legislation, tentatively titled the “Criminal Justice Reform and Corrections Act of 2015,” draws on bills previously introduced by reformers in both parties, including Democrats Pat Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse and Cory Booker, and Republicans Mike Lee and Rand Paul.
Read more: MSNBC