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Taking to the airwaves for criminal justice reform

December 16, 2018

min read

The time has come for lawmakers at every level to reform the country’s broken criminal justice system, Koch Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mark Holden told NPR in a recent interview.

“We think the whole criminal justice system needs to be revamped from beginning to end, quite frankly,” Holden said in a nationally broadcast segment of All Things Considered.

The comments come as the U.S. Senate considers the FIRST STEP Act, legislation that would ease mandatory minimum sentences, improve reintegration, and open opportunities for people once they are released from correctional facilities. In the interview, Holden points to the more proportional sentencing that the bill would enact, as well as the rehabilitation programs that it would provide. These reforms have worked at the state level, Holden said, because while governors and other leaders “come in for the savings … they stay for the salvation.”

“Because what they learn is that they've got a lot of people in prison who aren't a threat to public safety, and it costs a lot of money. And they don't want to, you know, have their budget drained on that,” Holden said.

Listen to the full interview here.