When it comes to America’s mass incarceration problem, part of the blame falls on Washington’s shoulders.
And according to Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.), it’s D.C.’s turn to fix it.
That was the response Booker gave questioners during a Twitter Q&A hosted by Fusion, Univision and The Root on criminal justice reform today.
Users asked questions asking how lawmakers would help recently released prisoners reintegrate into society; they inquired about improving mental health treatments inside of prisons; and they challenged the ethics of private for profit prisons.
Booker called mental health treatment an urgent issue, mentioning that he was a co-sponsor of Sen. Al Franken’s bill to improve access to services inside prisons. Booker also called private prisons a concern, saying he’s pressed the Bureau of Prisons for more accountability.
Twitter user @Magie981 took Booker to task and asked how realistic it was for America to reduce its prison population, now peaking at more than 2 million people behind bars.
Booker is part of a bipartisan group of senators who have made criminal justice reform a priority in Congress, recently introducing a breakthrough reform bill that aims to cut down the number of inmates in America’s federal prisons. The bill will put an end to the “three strikes rule” mandating life sentences for nonviolent offenders; expand mandatory minimum sentences for terrorism-related crimes; provide more rehabilitative programs inside prisons; and limit solitary confinement for juveniles.