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Bernie Kerik to Newsmax TV: CJ Reform Bill Makes Sense

(Newsmax TV's "America Talks Live")

By    |   Thursday, 15 November 2018 04:47 PM

A criminal justice reform bill that has the support of President Donald Trump is "common sense" legislation that needs to pass, former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik told Newsmax TV.

Kerik discussed the First Step Act during an appearance on Thursday's "America Talks Live."

"This is the most substantial piece of criminal justice reform legislation probably in decades. So, if they can get it to his desk, that's great," Kerik said.

"There's about two million people in state and federal prisons right now, 700,000 of which get out every year. What are you gonna do with those people when they get out? You sent them to prison. Prison is a training ground for thuggery and criminality. You take all the societal values out of someone, you institutionalize them.

"If you don't give them programs and incentives for good behavior, vocational skills, and life skills, and skill sets so they can get gainful employment on the outside, guess what? They're coming back in."

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The bill has bipartisan support and would loosen some mandatory minimum sentencing laws. It is aimed at reducing recidivism by helping ex-convicts land a job and be productive members of society.

"I think anybody with any kind of common sense should be supporting this bill, not opposing it," Kerik said.

Kerik, who led the New York City Department of Correction from 1998-2000 and the NYPD from 2000-2001, said not every convicted criminal should be sentenced to time behind bars.

"We've become a society that believes — and I think it's pushed a lot by the press and it's pushed by overzealous prosecutors — we've become a society that believes the only punishment on Earth is imprisonment and the depravation of freedom," Kerik said. "And I have to tell you, it's ignorant, it's not right.

"If you have to protect society from somebody, that person belongs in prison. But at the end of the day, there are a number of alternatives . . . that would benefit society, benefit the offender, benefit other offenders, if you just operated a different way. And this bill is the beginning of doing something like that."

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The criminal justice reform bill is "common sense" legislation that needs to pass, according to former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik on Newsmax TV's "America Talks Live."
recidivism, criminal justice reform, prison, criminals, bernie kerik
Thursday, 15 November 2018 04:47 PM
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