A new version of Sen. Jim Webb’s bill to create a National Criminal Justice Commission, redrafted to answer criticism from law enforcement and local government representatives, may be considered as soon as early November by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The original bill from Webb (D-VA) had concentrated on issues involving prisons and drugs. Some organizations, noting that crime is mainly a state and local issue, had complained that the commission was too Washington-oriented.
A redraft being circulated this week makes a prominent mention of “advances in policing” that “have driven crime reductions through greater accountability, improved use of data, partnership with the community, and policing strategies that emphasize problem-solving.” The new proposal also changes the composition of the proposed panel. Initially, it was to have 11 members chosen by the President, members of Congress, and the Republican and Democratic governors associations. Now, it would include 13 members, including four “state and local representatives, including one executive branch member, one state legislator, one county member, and one city official.”