Last Friday afternoon, Prison Fellowship’s Craig DeRoche, senior vice president of policy and advocacy, joined President Obama at the White House for a preview of HBO VICE’s upcoming special “Fixing the System,” a documentary on the current state of America’s criminal justice system and what can be done to improve it.
Saul Green was laid off after 3 ½ years at a job when employers found past criminal charges. Today, he remains unemployed, despite wanting to work and having applied for over 125 jobs over the past 18 months. His unemployment is a collateral consequence of petty crimes that he committed over 15 years ago.
The following article originally appeared on the Pretrial Justice Institute website, and appears here with permission.
Joe has not been convicted of a crime. He’s innocent, in fact, but he’s still in jail. He’s been sitting there for over two months now, waiting to appear before a judge, waiting for the chance to prove his innocence, but his trial date is nowhere in sight, and he doesn’t have the money to post bond.
Speaking to a gathering of the American Bar Association in San Francisco on August 12, Attorney General Eric Holder announced sweeping changes to current sentencing practices that will allow for greater flexibility and eliminate “mandatory minimum” sentencing for many non-violent offenders.
On August 1, senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced a bipartisan bill known as the Smarter Sentencing Act, which will advance more effective and just criminal sentencing for non-violent drug offenses. The legislation is intended to refocus the Bureau of Prisons’ resources on the most serious offenders and crime prevention.
We are pleased to announce that the U.S. House Appropriations Committee honored Chuck Colson with a task force on federal corrections. The Committee has set aside funds in the FY2014 spending bill to establish the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections to make recommendations to increase public safety, improve offender accountability, reduce recidivism, address victims’ services, and control costs.
Prison Fellowship Ministries Board of Directors has named Craig DeRoche president of Justice Fellowship, the criminal justice and public policy reform arm of Prison Fellowship. Justice Fellowship was founded 30 years ago by the late Charles Colson, former special counsel to President Richard Nixon and convicted Watergate figure.
Are Americans spending too much to maintain and expand a bloated corrections system that all too often has its inmates returning to prison shortly after their release? In a September 28 editorial for the Detroit News, Justice Fellowship Director of External Affairs Craig DeRoche says “yes,” using the current state of affairs in Michigan as an example.