Nebraskans Urge Senators Sasse and Fischer to Support Criminal Justice Reform
Press Release
Leadership Conference
May 18, 2016

For Immediate Release

Contact: Scott Simpson, 202.466.2061,
May 18, 2016

OMAHA, NE – Today, Nebraska clergy, civil rights and criminal justice advocates hosted a call to urge their senators, Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer, to support the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.

The bill, which would implement urgently needed reforms to the nation’s criminal justice system, was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee more than 200 days ago. It has support from conservatives, liberals, and community advocates from across the country. The bill provides a rare moment of bipartisan consensus on the critical issue of criminal justice reform, and advocates are urging Senators Sasse and Fischer to support it.

Click here to listen to an MP3 recording the call.

Below are quotes from the call.

Rev. Dr. Pamela Owens, Metropolitan Community Church of Omaha

“States such as ours, which have already enacted legislation similar to Senate Bill 2123 on the state level, are seeing own crime rates drop and we are on track to save millions of dollars of tax monies that were otherwise being thrown away on locking people up. But we need the reform that 2123 would bring in the federal criminal justice system to better do our work on the local level. The bipartisan support to pass 2123 is already in place in the Senate membership. We are urgently calling on our Nebraska senators, Fischer and Sasse, to take leadership on behalf of our state, and to urge Senator McConnell to bring this important piece of legislation to the floor as quickly as possible.”

County Commissioner Christopher Rodgers, Douglas County Commissioner

“In Omaha, we’ve focused the past ten years on reforming and creating alternatives to our juvenile detention centers, because we know that it has a direct impact on adult crime rates. Many of our children in Omaha have had contact with the local criminal system, and juvenile detention creates a lifelong ceiling for them. This bill would provide states the resources to provide people a fresh start and ensure that they receive the counseling and rehabilitation they need so that they can provide for themselves and their families without resorting to criminal activity. I urge Senators Fischer and Sasse to support this bill. It will go a long way in broadening our efforts statewide and ensuring a safer Nebraska.”

Danielle Conrad, Executive Director, ACLU of Nebraska

“Senate Bill 2123 holds so much potential and promise for true reform to our federal system and the possibility of bringing countless benefits to many Nebraskans – those who are incarcerated, in the justice system, and the taxpayers. This unique, bipartisan partnership is so powerful, and it provides a great platform for our senators to take the reins and continue to provide meaningful leadership on these important issues. Senate Bill 2123 strikes the right balance. It ensures that we’re putting public safety first, while also giving the judiciary discretion so that we can get the right outcome based on the facts of each case. This bill is a beacon of hope for advocates, families, and policy makers who can unite in an unprecedented way to enact real and meaningful reform that will impact us now and for generations to come.”

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