Koch exec, Black Lives Matter in group pushing prison reform

National News

July 25, 2019 - 8:57 AM

Gov. Jerry Brown is among a diverse group of governors, justice officials, business leaders and a Black Lives Matter organizer appointed to study prison reform. TNS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A criminal justice reform group that launched Tuesday has brought together Democratic and Republican governors, a Black Lives Matter organizer and a Koch Industries executive in an unlikely collaboration focusing on finding solutions to problems like racial disparity and the effects of a 1994 crime bill in policing and prisons.

Veteran criminal justice policy expert Adam Gelb said he formed the Council on Criminal Justice because the field seems ripe for consensus. He previously led the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project, which helped states with sentencing reforms, and worked with Congress on the crime bill.

The group builds on a major criminal justice overhaul that passed Congress with rare bipartisan support and was signed by President Donald Trump last year. The First Step Act gives judges more discretion in sentencing, eases mandatory minimum sentences and encourages inmates to participate in programs aimed at reducing recidivism.

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