JustLeadershipUSA’s 2021-2024 Roadmap
This roadmap is the first to be informed by the expertise of our growing, nationwide network of directly impacted leaders, grassroots organizations and institutional knowledge of the inner operations of governmental entities.
Many advocacy organizations are making recommendations to the new Administration and the 117th Congress to create a more fair, humane, and just criminal justice system that will lead to an end to mass incarceration. The recommendations made by JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), however, are unique in that they reflect the experiences and expertise of those who have been directly impacted.
We believe that there are bold, positive steps that can be taken, relatively rapidly, that can unlock access to basic human needs for the 70 million individuals living in communities across the United States with a criminal history, and provide pathways to opportunities for those currently incarcerated.
Executive Orders & Actions
- Revitalization of an expanded version of the Justice Department’s Federal Interagency Reentry Council, originally established in 2011.
- Appointment of a directly impacted individual as the Criminal Justice/Reentry Czar to serve in the White House Domestic Policy Council and lead the Interagency Reentry Council.
- Order directing the use of humanizing language across all federal agencies, e.g., “formerly incarcerated people,” “people who committed a crime,” and “people with felony convictions.”
Reinstatement of the Department of Justice Second Chance Fellowship
- Significant improvements in the BOP’s emergency preparedness in case of future pandemics and natural disasters.
- Abolition of Special Housing Units (solitary confinement) in federal facilities.
- Ban on use of biased discriminatory risk assessment tools for access to recidivism reduction and education programs.
- Improved hiring and retention of medical and mental health staff; expansion of medical and mental health treatment.
- Reversal of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ directive instructing federal prosecutors to increase their reliance on mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug convictions and to more actively pursue criminal convictions for immigration law violations.
- Restore rigorous monitoring and enforcement of police department consent decrees.
- End the setting of pre-trial cash bail.
- Redirect Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) to community reinvestment rather than law enforcement enhancements.
- Replace the Office of Pardon with a clemency/pardon review panel that includes directly impacted individuals.
- Establish a Second Look Sentencing Unit to review and reevaluate federal sentences.
- Impose a death penalty moratorium.
- Establish a Conviction Integrity Unit and prioritize cases of those sentenced to life without parole.
- Reopen the Office for Access to Justice to improve civil and criminal justice.
- Establish regulations for fair chance hiring pursuant to the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019.
- Establish a process for increasing federal employment opportunities for directly impacted individuals.
- Issue a mandate pursuant to the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019 for vendors competing for federal contracts must follow Office of Personnel Management guidelines for the hiring of directly impacted individuals.
- Issue guidelines defining discriminatory hiring and posting practices and establishing processes for reporting violations.
- Remove discretion from Workforce Investment Act funding that allows states to exclude directly impacted individuals from access to training opportunities.
- Raise awareness about the availability of Work Opportunity Tax Credits for the hiring of directly impacted individuals.
- Establish guidelines for quality implementation and technical assistance of Pell Grant.
- Establish guidelines and regulations for higher education institutions to ensure post transfer of academic credits.
- Passage of the Correctional Facility Disaster Preparedness Act of 2020 (S.4748) sponsored by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL).
- Repeal of ban on public assistance-SNAP/TANF via the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (H.R. 3734).
- Passage of Medicaid Reentry Act (H.R. 955/S. 285).
- Passage of the Humane Correctional Health Care Act. (H.R. 4141).
- Passage of the MORE Act (H.R. 3884) and legislation to address the disproportionate impact of marijuana criminalization on people of color, including community reinvestment, etc.
- Amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (H.R. 7152) to include people with criminal background as a protected class.
- Abolish the federal death penalty.
- Repeal and reverse impact of the 1994 Crime Bill (H.R. 3355)