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What the Major 2024 Political Candidates are Saying about Criminal Justice

When major political candidates say things about criminal justice, readers should know

The Law Office of Jeremy Gordon is not political organization, but neither does criminal justice operate in a vacuum. When major political candidates say things about criminal justice, readers should know. Here, we will keep a running tally of what major political candidates say.  "Major" is a fluid term and may change as the political landscape changes.

Ron DeSantis

Politico: DeSantis Attacks FIRST STEP Act 

This might end up becoming spun off into "what the major political candidates have to say about criminal justice reform."  Maybe.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called it a “jailbreak bill.” Former Vice President Mike Pence said “we need to take a step back” from it. And former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson proclaimed “there’s probably some areas there that can be adjusted.”

All were taking aim at President Donald Trump’s signature First Step Act, a 2018 law that ushered in modest changes to the criminal justice system by addressing over-incarceration and prioritizing rehabilitation and reduced recidivism. It was, for a time, one of the major achievements touted by Trump and his team, hailed as evidence that conservatives could achieve what liberals couldn’t: a reduction in racial disparities in federal sentencing.

See also:  The Florida Phoenix: DeSantis goes after Trump on federal criminal justice reforms, clashing over law-and-order front, see also DeSantis Continues Race to Right With Criminal-Justice Reform Veto(New York Magazine/Daily Intelligencer) but see also Ron DeSantis voted for the First Step Act and hailed its ‘successes.’ He now calls it ‘the jailbreak bill’ (CNN/AOL)

Mike Pence

City Life: DeSantis and Pence Turn Against Criminal Justice Reform Measure

As Republican candidates vying for the party’s presidential nomination against former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence have reversed their support for a criminal justice reform measure that they previously championed. The measure, known as the First Step Act, aimed to reduce recidivism and mass incarceration.

Speaking to right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro, DeSantis criticized the First Step Act, calling it a “jailbreak bill” that has allowed dangerous individuals to be released from prison, leading to an increase in reoffending and harm to communities. Pence also distanced himself from the law, stating that he would “take a step back from” it.

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