President Trump announcing the First Step Act at the White House. (Credit: White House)

Criminal Justice Reform Is Spreading Across The Country. But Is It Enough to Dismantle Mass Incarceration?

Currently, more than 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the United States, and 10 million cycle in and out jail each year, according to the Prison Policy Initiative, a nonprofit and non-partisan research organization. The majority of people in local jails are being held without bail or simply can’t afford it. And of course, there’s the racial discrepancy, as African Americans are imprisoned five times higher than their white counterparts.

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STATES TAKE ACTION

“I would say that 2019 has been an encouraging year,” Marton tells News Beat. “For two reasons: One, it does seem like quote ‘blue states,’ these liberal states in the Northeast and West Coast, have generally consolidated political support behind significant criminal justice reform, in some cases passing modest reforms, but in other cases, passing really real transformative bills.”

TAKING ON A ‘JUGGERNAUT’

Pennsylvania state House Rep. Jordan Harris, the Democratic whip, continues to pursue criminal justice reform, an issue he campaigned on seven years ago. (Photo credit: Jordan Harris / Facebook)

PRISON POPULATIONS ARE DECLINING. BUT NOT BY MUCH

AGGRESSIVE ACTIONS NECESSARY

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