Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) recently introduced the REDEEM Act (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment). This is another decently thought out but flawed bipartisan attempt to get behind broad-based criminal justice reform which seems these days to be the Pokemon Go app for lawmakers – consuming all thoughts and time. I have only read highlights of the REDEEM Act so I do not know the details, but I do know that this particular reform targets “non-violent” offenders and expunging their records; thus increasing their chance of finding employment. Impersonating a cop, child pornography, arson, theft, embezzlement, prostitution, child endangerment, fraud, meth and heroin related criminals don’t leave bruises, but apparently make great employees.
But wait, there’s more!
There’s the Second Chance Act, the Fair Chance Act and the I-Swear-If-You-Just-Give-Me-One-More-Chance Act. There’s a push for enhanced mandatory sentencing and a pull for reduced minimum sentencing and I don’t know where the Smarter Sentencing Act fits into that. And then let’s Ban the Box on the application legislation so these guys can get to an interview if they ever get out.
The nice thing about all of this criminal justice reform, for Senator Michael Bennet (D-Co) anyway, is that he can slap his approval on someone else’s version of said legislation, as I happened to read in Politico on April 28. After all, appearance is everything in a reelection year when you lead your state, my state, to the 2nd highest sex trafficking and the 3rd highest recidivism rate in the country. On second thought, I suppose it’s best that Senator Bennet is not the one coming up with the policy. There’s no secret now why Darryl Glenn, Colorado’s Republican candidate for U.S. senate, is making such waves.
Conversely, Senator Cotton (R-Ar) rises to the top throughout all of this, standing on his rock of non-compromising, non-support of nonsense revised criminal justice reform. I00% cotton really does let you breathe!
Let’s shed some light on this
The problems we face right now in our criminal justice system are so complicated and so complex that they cannot be solved by man alone. If only we could get a third party to back some of these ideas because there is strength in the Trinity. You see, our Creator has the authority to expunge our records according to His timeline and based on each person’s response to their conviction. The reality is that there are some quite gifted liars and manipulators who have committed “non-violent” crimes and other people with consciences who have committed serious crimes. It is unjust to give redemption based on crime rather than heart.
But, alas, the chance of injecting the blood of Jesus Christ into our system at this point is slim to none. I spoke with a policy adviser for a well-known U.S. congressman who sponsored a criminal justice reform bill. The topic was how my company can uniquely help employ “returning citizens”, but I needed the partnership of the federal government. After learning that I am a Christian, she probed…and I mean probed…into just “how Christian” my company was. Once she was satisfied that I indeed loved and served my Savior in everything I do, she sighed and expressed to me that she thought I was “too Christian” to partner with the federal government. But I could give it the ol’ college try. That was encouraging.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner – Solutions
1. No expunging. Period. It builds character to deal with the consequences of a bad decision. This one might confuse the feelings of Liberals because everyone is treated the same, but no one gets a trophy.
2. Create incentives for inmates in prison to reduce their sentences by taking on leadership roles staying clean, rescuing kittens from trees.
3. Someone puhleeze sponsor a bill that forces – scratch that – I mean requires, the government to hire employees paroled out of prison and leave private businesses alone to make their own hiring policies that best suit their companies. It’s time for you, government, to meet the goals of your own legislation.
4. Tuck some pork into that bill like funding for a bridge to somewhere – a bridge out of poverty and life of crime. Make it mandatory for the government to contract with traditional staffing companies to provide the try-before-you-buy employees. That way, the government can reduce spending millions of taxpayer dollars on their own failing programs and subsidizing wages, by paying rather a fee for service to competing companies that are experts in staffing. Thus, investing in top notch employees. The staffing agency is taking on the majority of the financial risk so they are motivated to properly vet candidates and only send the crème de la crème parolee employees, otherwise they go out of business. Ah…capitalism at its finest!
5. Create incentives for offenders to pay off their fines. For every month they pay as scheduled, take a payment off the back-end.
Or something like that. Hey, has anyone heard from the church on any of this? We’re supposed to be proclaiming liberty to captives and setting the prisoners free.