The Unheard Voice in Sentencing Reform Movement: Crime Victims
National Law Journal, November 2, 2015
4 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2015
Date Written: November 2, 2015
For the first time in decades substantive criminal justice reform appears to be a possibility. There seems to be bipartisan consensus that some reform is necessary to address flaws in the American system. In the past, such efforts have fallen short for a host of reasons. One of them was the failure to include law enforcement and prosecutors in the dialog. No criminal justice reform can be achieved if those tasked with executing it are not part of the deliberative process. Fortunately, efforts regarding the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 have included law enforcement and prosecutors. However, one voice remains sidelined throughout this legislative debate: victims. This essay calls upon Congress and other policy makers to include the crime victim perspective in sentencing reform. Only by doing so can these reform efforts achieve the legitimacy necessary to succeed.
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