The House Judiciary Committee voted to approve several criminal justice reform bills earlier this year. Despite bipartisan support for the bills, House leadership did not include criminal justice reform on its agenda for September. But this past week Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) opened the door for a possible vote on some or all of the bills if he hears from enough Members of Congress.
While it is unclear whether these bills will become law, a House vote would serve as an important first step towards comprehensive criminal justice reform. NLIHC and others are working to ensure that any comprehensive legislation addresses the significant housing needs of formerly incarcerated people.
The U.S. incarcerates its citizens at a shockingly high rate, and nearly one in three Americans has a criminal record. Current laws disproportionately impact people of color and people living in poverty.
As more formerly incarcerated individuals return to their communities, there is growing concern about how they will fare upon reentry. Resources, especially for affordable housing, are already scarce in the low-income communities where formerly incarcerated persons typically return. Because of their criminal records, justice-involved individuals face additional barriers in accessing affordable housing, putting them at risk of homelessness and subsequent recidivism.
Contact your Representatives today and urge them to push for a vote on criminal justice reform.
NLIHC’s action alert is at: http://bit.ly/2cKi9AP