How Koch is tackling criminal justice reform in D.C.

November 13, 2018

Congress is ripe for action on criminal justice reform legislation before the end of the current session, says Mark Holden, vice president and general counsel of Koch Industries.

“We definitely think it is going to get done now,” Holden told The Washington Post’s Power Up newsletter in a recent interview about the prospects of the FIRST STEP Act, a version of which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support earlier this year.

Lawmakers include additional sentencing reforms in the amended bill this week, the Post reported. With more than 700,000 people coming out of prison every year, Holden said there is a tremendous opportunity to help people come out “better, more educated, and more skilled”—while also reducing crime and recidivism.

“We spend three to four times more per capita each year on incarcerating people than we do on K-12 education in this country,” Holden said. “Regardless of what happens this year, we'll keep grinding away and hanging around the hoop. But we're hopeful.”

Read more at The Washington Post about the reforms Koch is advocating for at the federal and state levels, including its support of Safe Streets & Second Chances—a four-state reentry pilot program.