As Congress considers criminal justice reforms, one emerging question is whether the bills under consideration mark the beginning of a new era of criminal justice reform or simply a one-off action, says the Christian Science Monitor. Already, there are signs that the next steps might not be so smooth. President Obama is clashing with Congress over a proposal to give inmates the option to to pause child support payments while they're behind bars. Still, the inducements for further reforms on both the state and federal level appear compelling. For states, prisons cost more than $50 billion a year and are the second-fastest growing part of state budgets behind Medicaid.