We call on Congress to reform federal criminal justice and immigrant detention policies toward the goal of ending unfair, unnecessary, costly and racially biased mass incarceration:
- Adopt criminal justice and sentencing reform policies that incorporate an end to mandatory minimum sentencing;
- Eliminate the detention bed quota for immigrants and implement alternatives to immigrant detention.
Our Faith Conviction
As people of faith and conscience, we call for respect to be shown all people as bearers of God’s image. Jesus tells us to act humanely toward those we might consider “least” among God’s children. We are therefore concerned for the millions of men, women and children arrested, sentenced, incarcerated and returned home from incarceration throughout this country. The federal justice system should lead the nation in ensuring proportional and equitable accountability, not arbitrary and inhumane treatment. Unjust criminal justice practices and unnecessary immigrant detention run contrary to our faith and to our nation’s fundamental values of basic dignity, due process, and human rights.
End Mandatory Minimum Sentencing
We urge Congress to support federal criminal justice reform legislation that would:
- Allow judges the discretion to fully consider the circumstances of individual cases to arrive at the most appropriate sentencing decision.
- Strike or reduce mandatory minimum sentences.
- Shrink the size of the federal prison system, particularly among people convicted of nonviolent and low-level offenses.
- Eliminate racial disparity and racial bias in sentencing.
- Prioritize alternatives to incarceration for individuals who pose little threat to public safety, and ensure accountability without the use of excessive punishment.
Eliminate the Detention Bed Quota for Immigrants and Implement Alternatives to Detention
In the House, Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Bill Foster (D-IL) will introduce an amendment to strike the quota language in the appropriations bill. We ask you to:
- Vote in favor of this amendment.
- Contact other offices to gain support for the elimination of the quota.
- Express your opposition to the bed quota in public statements.