Iowa Sheriff: Grassley Right on Criminal Justice Reform
NOTE: In an op-ed in the Des Moines Register today, Story County, Iowa, Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald expressed support for the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act authored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The proposal is cosponsored by 28 senators, evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, and is supported by scores of stakeholders from across the political spectrum.
“Sen. Grassley has it right. Prison reform alone cannot break the cycle of crime. It must be coupled with sentencing reform. Those of us in the law enforcement community hope that the rest of Congress follows his lead.” – Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald
By Story County, Iowa, Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald
Des Moines Register | June 6, 2018
Criminal justice reform is once again on Washington’s to-do list. This effort comes after President Trump elevated the need to help men and women who have reformed themselves behind bars get a second chance in his State of the Union address. Leaders from all parts of our society have come to recognize criminal justice reform is urgently necessary to protect public safety, including law enforcement.
A well-negotiated strategy has emerged on Capitol Hill – a bill our own senator, Chuck Grassley, is spearheading that contains sentencing reforms alongside a spate of comprehensive common-sense solutions that together will help break the cycle of crime. As a sheriff and an Iowan, I want to make sure criminal justice reform is done right by Washington.
Sen. Grassley’s bill, which has broad bipartisan support, would do just that. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act would shorten unnecessarily long sentences for minor offenses and fund proven methods to ensure that people coming out of incarceration do not end up back in prison again. The bill would help Iowa’s police and prosecutors to stop the cycle of recidivism and allow Iowa’s federal law enforcement officials to focus on the biggest threats to public safety in our state.
Sen. Grassley has it right. Prison reform alone cannot break the cycle of crime. It must be coupled with sentencing reform. Those of us in the law enforcement community hope that the rest of Congress follows his lead.
Paul Fitzgerald is the sheriff of Story County and a member of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration.