The Brennan Center for Justice has created 15 executive actions that President Obama can carry out without Congress to reduce mass incarceration.
The report, “15 Executive Actions” consists of the following recommendations.
- Commission a Justice Department report, The Constitution in 2025, modeled after The Constitution in the Year 2000.
- Direct federal agencies to find ways to increase voter participation nationwide.
- Direct federal agencies to accept designation as NVRA agencies.
- Enlist the private sector to assure free and fair elections.
- Appoint Republicans and Democrats to the Election Assistance and Federal Election Commissions.
- Sign an executive order requiring disclosure of political spending by entities awarded government contracts.
- Request that the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue regulations requiring disclosure of corporate political spending.
- Request that the Federal Communications Commission to require more thorough disclaimers of outside spending on political advertisements.
- Create a Presidential Commission on Mass Incarceration, modeled after the “Kerner Commission.”
- Issue an executive order directing federal agencies to recast their criminal justice grants in a Success-Oriented Funding Model.
- Direct the Justice Department to identify federal prisoners to whom the Fair Sentencing Act would retroactively apply, and recommend commutations for all those eligible, barring exceptional circumstances.
- Issue an executive order to “ban the box” on federal agency job applications, except for law enforcement positions.
- Direct the Attorney General to issue new guidance banning discriminatory law enforcement techniques.
- Request that the Attorney General survey the use of “secret law” in the federal government and develop procedures to make the law public.
- Issue an executive order applying key federal information-sharing restrictions to “suspicious activity reports” provided by state and local law enforcement.
According to the report, four actions would help reduce mass incarceration, including an executive order to implement Success-Oriented Funding in all federal criminal justice grants.
The Justice Department has called for the reduction of mass incarceration, but its outdated funding structures have resulted in a larger correctional population. Researchers contend the executive order would bring funding structures in line with Department policy.
The report also urges President Obama to create a White House National Commission on Mass Incarceration to identify federal, state, and local policy solutions, and bring public attention to the problem.
Thoughts on the 15 executive actions?
Do you believe they will help reduce mass incarceration?
Sound off below!