LAC Praises the Final Recommendations of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections

LAC Praises the Final Recommendations of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections

Calls on Congress and the Administration to Adopt Many of the Task Force’s Recommendations and Other Reforms to the Federal Justice System

WASHINGTON, DC— Legal Action Center commends the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections for its final recommendations that will be presented to Congress tonight. Legal Action Center has advocated for many of the specific recommendations in the Task Force’s report and calls on Congress and the Administration to implement these needed reforms, including:

  • Reserve incarceration for only the most serious federal crimes and incentivize and expand the use of alternatives to incarceration (ATI);
  • Improve and expand recidivism reduction programs and create greater opportunities for family engagement;
  • Incentivize participation in risk-reduction programming among high and medium risk people in federal prison;
  • Promote a seamless transition between federal prison and community-based service providers;
  • Review federal collateral consequences and make recommendations to Congress about them;
  • Reinvest justice-system savings in programs and treatment that make communities safer and healthier.

According to Roberta Meyers, Director of Legal Action Center’s National H.I.R.E. Network, “The Task Force was smart to focus on recidivism reduction in their recommendations. Stopping the revolving door that leads people in the community back into prison is a big part of addressing mass incarceration. Expanding and improving reentry services and recidivism-reduction programming while looking for ways to reduce barriers are key parts of making that happen.”

“Making greater use of alternatives to incarceration that keep people in the community and families intact is an effective and less costly way to improve public safety,” said LAC’s Director of Policy Gabrielle de la Gueronniere. “It’s also important that we invest in expanding access to substance use disorder treatment and eliminate barriers to medication-assisted treatment in the justice system to help people get healthy and reduce the chances they will return to prison.”

The Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections is a nine-person, bipartisan, blue-ribbon panel created by Congress to examine challenges in the federal corrections system and develop practical, data-driven solutions. Representatives Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) will host a briefing and panel discussion with Task Force members this afternoon at 4 pm.

“LAC commends the Task Force on their work to develop these recommendations and hopes Congress and the Administration will act now to reform the criminal justice system,” said LAC’s Director and President Paul Samuels. “We know there are better ways to keep America safe and healthy, and the time is now to act.”

Policymakers can find additional support for the Colson Task Force’s report as well as additional recommendations for drug and alcohol policy reforms by reading Legal Action Center’s recently released report, Roadmap for Promoting Health and Justice: A Smarter, More Effective National Drug and Alcohol Policy. The Roadmap provides a comprehensive and detailed set of recommendations for improving our national drug and alcohol policies to improve health and public safety and save lives and resources.


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