Economic Fairness & Social Justice
It’s Time To Change the Law
March 29, 2009
by Senator Jim Webb, Parade Magazine
I am now introducing legislation that will create a national commission to look at every aspect of our criminal justice system with an eye toward reshaping the process from top to bottom. I believe that it is time to bring together the best minds in America to confer, report, and make specific recommendations about how we can reform the process. This commission will be tasked with giving us clear answers to hard questions, including:
Why are so many Americans currently in prison compared with other countries and our own history?
What is this policy costing our nation, both in tax dollars and in lost opportunities?
How can we reshape our nation’s drug policies?
How can we better diagnose and treat mental illness?
How can we end violence within prisons and increase the quality of prison administrators?
How can we build workable re-entry programs so that our communities can assimilate former offenders and encourage them to become productive citizens?
How can we defend ourselves against the growing scourge of violent, internationally based gang activity?
Senator Jim Webb (D., Va.) is a PARADE Contributing Editor and the author of nine books, including “A Time to Fight.”