The U.S. House yesterday passed a bill to create a commission that would undertake a top-to-bottom review of the nation's criminal justice system, says its main sponsor, Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA). “Today our prison population is expanding at an alarming rate, with costs to the taxpayers that are unsustainable,” Delahunt said. “The bill passed tonight will assess the current crisis, reverse these disturbing trends and help save taxpayer money.”
The bill’s primary sponsor in the Senate is Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA). The Senate Judiciary Committee approved it but it is awaiting floor action. Delahunt said the commission is expected to study “all areas of the criminal justice system, including federal, state, local and tribal governments' criminal justice costs, practices, and policies,” and make recommendations for change. The measure has been endorsed by about 100 organizations.