Open Letter to Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform

A wide range of leaders meet for the Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform in Washington, DC, on March 26, 2015. The organizations #cut50, which aims to reduce the U.S. incarcerated population by 50% over the next ten years, and Gingrich Productions, headed by Newt Gingrich, produced the summit. Here’s an open letter to the organizers and participants in that summit.


Dear Civic Leaders,

No subject is more important than criminal justice, and no subject is more difficult to discuss. Difficulties come home particularly acutely for the issues of domestic violence and sexism. But these issues must be faced.

Harshly punitive, emergency domestic violence law that eviscerates normal due process has been enacted from the early 1980s. They have remarkably changed domestic security — the security of persons within their own homes. These new domestic violence laws and policies have also been central to the rise of mass incarceration.

State actions under domestic violence emergency law now account for a majority of justice system actions addressing interpersonal violence. Criminal justice reform cannot be undertaken seriously without seriously addressing domestic violence law and policy. We hope that you will figure out how to address domestic violence in promoting criminal justice reform.

Sincerely,

Communicating with Prisoners Collective

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