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Today, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and 62 other groups sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, expressing opposition to any efforts to pass prison reform legislation without including sentencing provisions. The groups urged Congress to continue to support comprehensive reform and raised substantive concerns with the Prison Reform and Redemption Act (H.R. 3356).

The groups note that H.R. 3356 is unlikely to achieve meaningful prison reform; provides no incentive to those most in need of rehabilitative programming; and omits key prison reforms. They write, “It is up to Congress to continue to advance front end and back end reform designed to improve both federal sentencing laws and the functioning of the federal prison system. If Congress is serious about addressing meaningful prison reform, it will pass legislation that would deal with the conditions of confinement such as reducing the use of solitary confinement, providing adequate medical care to prisoners, and addressing exorbitant prison phone rates. While we share the goal of reforming the federal prison system, the provisions of this bill, as written, do not promise real prison reform.”

The full text of the letter is available here, and the signatories are listed below.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

American Civil Liberties Union

African American Ministers in Action

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations

American Humanist Association

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Bend the Arc Jewish Action

Buried Alive Project

Campaign for Youth Justice

CANDO Foundation

Center for Responsible Lending

Coalition on Human Needs

CURE (Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants)

Defending Rights & Dissent

Drug Policy Alliance

Equal Justice Society

Equality California

Equity Matters

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Faith Action Network – Washington State

Government Information Watch

Harm Reduction Coalition

Hip Hop Caucus

Human Rights Watch

Justice Strategies


Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Life for Pot



NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

National Action Network

National Association of Social Worker

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

National Council of Churches

National Employment Law Project

National Hispanic Media Coalition

National Immigration Law Center

National Juvenile Justice Network

National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund

National Organization for Women

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

People For the American Way

PFLAG National

Prison Policy Initiative

Safer Foundation

Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Students for Sensible Drug Policy

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

The Decarceration Collective

The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society


Union for Reform Judaism

United Church of Christ

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries

Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs

We Got Us Now

334 East 92nd Street Tenant Association

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.


For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, we take up the toughest civil liberties fights. Beyond one person, party, or side — we the people dare to create a more perfect union. Learn more at www.aclu.org

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