On Feb. 15, 2018, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved a provision to create the National Criminal Justice Commission. The provision is built on bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Cornyn (R-TX). The commission is tasked with conducting a top-to-bottom review to provide suggestions and tackle the most serious of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system.

The last comprehensive review of the criminal justice system was conducted in 1965 under President Lyndon Johnson. The resulting report offered more than 200 recommendations that have shaped today’s criminal justice system, including the creation of the 911 system.

“Every American should trust that they will be treated equally under the law, but numerous incidents in cities across the country have eroded faith … in the system,” Peters said. “It’s clear we need to address these serious concerns including police and community relationships, our growing prison population and the cycle of recidivism.

The provision passed as a broader sentencing reform legislation and creates the National Criminal Justice Commission to conduct an 18-month comprehensive review of America’s Criminal Justice systems. The commission would also issue recommended changes that would increase public safety and promote confidence in the criminal justice system, as well as other tasks. The review would include federal, state, local and tribal criminal justice systems.

“I’m pleased the Judiciary Committee approved this bipartisan provision that will help us identify solutions to ensure we are administering justice in a fair, equitable and effective way for every American,” said Peters.

Presidential and congressional appointees — including experts on law enforcement, criminal justice, victims’ rights, civil liberties and social services — would make up the 14-member commission. For more information, visit



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