While Americans are wondering where things will be heading with the coming administration, it is heartening that Sen. Chuck Grassley has declared his intention to take up a bill tackling sentencing laws and prison reform early in 2017, as announced in Politico on Jan. 4. We applaud him for his persistence on this important issue.
Our broken criminal justice system is costing taxpayers over $80 billion per year, as mandatory minimum sentences have filled our prisons with non-violent people who don’t need to be serving long sentences. Last year, Sen. Grassley led the way to clearheaded sentencing reform by introducing Senate Bill S2123, which Sen. Joni Ernst also supported. In the House, Rep. Rod Blum, Dave Loebsack, and David Young supported similar legislation. We thank these five Iowa legislators for their past support of sensible sentencing reform and hope we can count on the same in 2017.