Demand for Justice

Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington Sept. 24. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts)

Building on the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis’s historic address to Congress last September, over 120 alumni of Jesuit law schools delivered a letter on Sept. 21 to Congressional leadership and the offices of Jesuit-educated members of Congress, calling for passage of bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation. The signatories noted deficiencies in the current system, including disproportionate sentences as a result of mandatory minimums, individuals returning from jail and prison inadequately prepared to re-enter society and the nation’s reliance on the justice system to respond to problems of drug addiction, poverty, mental illness and joblessness. The United States currently represents 5 percent of the global population but 25 percent of the total global prison population.

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