Conservative and liberal groups are teaming up in an unusual bipartisan coalition backed by $5 million to reform the nation's criminal justice system, tackling issues including sentencing and crowded prisons, reports say.
From Koch Industries, owned by the conservative Koch brothers, to the Center for American Progress, a liberal issues group —
and including the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Tax Reform and Freedom Works —
have formed the Coalition for Public Safety, The New York Times reports.
The group also includes the Faith & Freedom Coalition, The Leadership Conference Education Fund and Right on Crime, The Hill reports.
The coalition will have the initial backing of more than $5 million.
"We want to both do good policy work and try to improve the system, but also to send the message to politicians that we always ask you to work together, and we are going to lead the way," Denis Calabrese, the president of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation told the Times.
Added Mark Holden, general counsel for Koch Industries: "We have said all along that we are willing to work with anyone and this shows it."
Directing the coalition will be Christine Leonard, a former congressional and White House aide, the Times reports.
"Everyone is really coming together around a common purpose, but at the end of the day we are going to be measured by whether we can really make a difference," she said. "Our country needs to be better on these issues."
The Hill notes both conservative and progressive groups have long argued for changes to the mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes.
A bill to reduce the mandatory minimums
was introduced in the Senate last week, as was a moderate prison reform package that has the support of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.