U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) has reintroduced his proposal to create a national commission to study criminal justice, the same week he announced he will not run next year for a second term. The bill got close to passage last year, clearing the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee but failing to be passed by the Senate before Congress adjourned. It was included in an appropriations bill proposed by Democrats before time expired in the last Congress.
The bill would establish a bipartisan commission of experts charged with what Webb calls “an 18-month top-to-bottom review of the nation's criminal justice system and offering concrete recommendations for reform.” Webb said he had discussed the idea with “ore than 100 organizations from every political and philosophical perspective, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Heritage Foundation, Sentencing Project, Fraternal Order of Police, NAACP, American Civil Liberties Union, and Prison Fellowship.” The commission would study all areas of the criminal justice system including federal, state, local and tribal governments' criminal justice costs, practices, and policies. It is not clear yet whether Webb’s plan not to seek re-election will affect the chances of his bill’s passage.