In an opinion piece for The Hill, Craig DeRoche, senior vice president of advocacy and public policy at Prison Fellowship®, stated three specific ways President Trump could succeed in his promises to not just remove threats to law and order but to also bring "healing and hope" to those Americans hurt by crime.
"The mistakes of past leaders, who sunk billions into prison construction and longer prison sentences, with ever-diminishing returns for public safety, still haunt us today," writes DeRoche. And while Americans desire safety and justice, "they also value fairness, liberty, and universal human dignity."
JUSTICE THAT RESTORES
How can the Trump administration fulfill these desires of the American people?
First, focus on the future. America needs justice that restores, a criminal justice system with a plan for rehabilitation and reentry into society.
The Trump administration and Congress should "back the most effective reforms," DeRoche explains, "so that people will come back to the community equipped to be better neighbors, parents, and employees."
JUSTICE THAT IS FAIR
Second, the federal government should take note how states like Texas have effectively reduced crime and prison rates.
States that were most successful at reducing crime "focused law enforcement efforts on the egregious crimes and people with repeat offenses." Nonviolent crimes related to substance abuse were given incarceration alternatives supported by the community.
JUSTICE THAT SUPPORTS
The federal government and our society today should encourage those who have served time. Prison Fellowship is celebrating the worth and potential of former prisoners during April. We ask for President Trump, together with Congress, to declare April Second Chance Month.
SECOND CHANCE MONTH
"We urge [President Trump] to apply his optimistic, problem-solving spirit to the reduction of crime," concludes DeRoche. "Just as problems can be solved, people—created in the image of God, with purpose and potential—can be restored."
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