Lewis Promotes Criminal Justice Reform At CPAC

Lewis Promotes Criminal Justice Reform At CPAC

February 28, 2020

WASHINGTON — Today at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis highlighted his criminal justice reform record as a member of Congress. 

“Criminal justice reform is about compassion. Democrats like Tina Smith talk a good game about being the party of compassion, but they haven’t done anything. And being generous with other people’s money hardly counts,” Lewis said.

“Real compassion is moving people from dependence to independence,” Lewis added. “My bill reformed the juvenile justice system, giving young people a second chance at life while also improving accountability of taxpayer dollars and eliminating duplicative grant programs.”

In the 115th Congress, Lewis authored the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) reauthorization, providing at-risk youth a vital second chance in life. After a decade of Congress’ failed attempts, Lewis’ bipartisan JJDPA legislation provided evidence-based solutions, better prevention strategies, and increased transparency. Some of the key issues addressed in the bill includes: 1) alternatives to detention for so-called status crimes, 2) the development of job training skills, 3) an end to the use of restraints on known pregnant juveniles, 4) restrictions on detaining juveniles awaiting trial with adult inmates, and 5) help for victims of human trafficking. Lewis’ bill also reduces racial disparities without establishing numerical standards that might affect public safety.

Many organizations supported Lewis’ efforts including Boys Town and the National Juvenile Justice Network. Local law enforcement also came out in support of the legislation, including Red Wing Police Chief Pohlman who said “Lewis’ bill is about getting youth back on track after making a wrong turn … it is smart crime prevention that puts the interests of young people first.”