This morning, at 10:00am ET, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing titled “Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons & Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Recidivism.” According to a press release from the office of Judiciary Chair Senator
Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.):
The hearing, which will be chaired by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), is part of the Committee’s regular oversight function and will also explore cost-effective ways to reduce recidivism. The government spends $6.4 billion annually on federal prisons, which is around one-quarter of the Department of Justice budget. The Judiciary Committee held in September a hearing on mandatory minimum sentences, and last year Leahy presided over a hearing on rising prison costs.[…]
Senator Leahy has bipartisan legislation with Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, that would expand the so-called “safety valve” that allows judges to impose a sentence below the mandatory minimum in cases where a minimum sentence is unnecessary and counterproductive. The bipartisan legislation would allow judges to avoid needlessly long sentences for certain offenders and help curb the spiraling costs associated with these lengthy sentences.
“This one-size-fits-all approach to sentencing never made us safer, but it has cost us plenty. We must explore ways to cut these rising costs and help law enforcement better protect our communities,” Leahy said.
The hearing agenda and a Webcast link can be found here.