Project 21: Generating revenue too high a priority for cops, courts

Wednesday, December 19, 2018
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

lawsuit gavel with moneyA conservative black organization has crafted a criminal justice reform plan that it argues is a better alternative to the one being considered on Capitol Hill.

President Donald Trump is hopeful the FIRST STEP Act* (H.R.5682) will be passed during the lame-duck session. Basically it would relax some federal sentencing guidelines and reform the federal prison system. But some black conservatives insist the bill would undermine the benefits of mandatory minimum sentencing and release dangerous criminals from prison too early.


Editor's note: By a vote of 87-12, the Senate passed the FIRST STEP Act on Tuesday. It now goes back to the House, where it is expected to pass before being sent to President Trump for his signature.


The Project 21 Black Leadership Network has released its "Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America." Horace Cooper, a constitutional attorney and co-chairman of Project 21, contends it's a better alternative to the FIRST STEP Act.

Cooper

"We believe that we should minimize the number of activities that are made unlawful," he offers, suggesting that crimes such as rape, robbery, and "other kinds of violent mayhem" should remain exactly that: crimes. "And let's go back to regular, moderate fines associated with the severity of the action," he adds.

Project 21 says law enforcement agencies have become "too focused on revenue-generating activities." Cooper argues that a return to fines associated with the severity of the action would make it easier for people who live paycheck to paycheck to not find themselves in a situation where a traffic fine, for example, could land them in jail when they can't pay it.

"When those fines aren't paid, law enforcement is sent out and told to collect that money or put the person behind bars," he explains to OneNewsNow. "We think we need a different direction where 'revenuers' of some kind can be selected to get the resources that are owed when their fine is due."

In the Blueprint's section on criminal justice reform, Project 21 acknowledges that fines, fees, and forfeitures are "tools" intended to help law enforcement fight crime. "But because they also provide funding for police departments, they tend to be over-used," it says.

Minorities and the poor, that section points out, are being incarcerated at a greater rate due to their inability to pay fees and fines imposed to generate revenue.

 

* Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWS BRIEF

FEATURED PODCAST

VOTE IN OUR POLL

How has your view of voter fraud changed since Election Day? (Choose up to two answers)

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Is Georgia a swing state? Groups spend millions to find out
Judge: Trump administration must take new DACA applications
Trump orders most American troops to leave Somalia
COVID-19 relief: What's on the table as Congress seeks deal
Despite contested results, AP claims Biden officially secures enough electors to become president
San Francisco Bay Area issues new stay-at-home order

LATEST FROM THE WEB

WaPo: Biden's team blocked from meeting with US intelligence agencies
Los Angeles would lose nearly 1,000 police jobs under budget proposal
Walter Williams, conservative economics professor, columnist, dead at 84
Sidney Powell: Plenty of time for Trump to overturn election results
CNN's Tapper asks Biden about potential family biz conflicts after avoiding son Hunter during campaign

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Felblum doesn't respect the First Amendment, says AFA

EEOC bannerA non-profit organization that equips individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture is urging President Trump to withdraw a nomination for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.