Ensuring Justice & Public Safety: Federal Criminal Justice Priorities for 2020 and Beyond

The coronavirus pandemic has shined a spotlight on the size of America’s incarcerated and justice-involved population, illuminating both the extreme vulnerability of those held behind bars and how our prison population impacts our broader communities.

But even before the outbreak, the United States stood at a crossroads on criminal justice reform. Long before the pandemic, our national coalition group began putting together a federal policy report urging Congress, federal agencies, and the White House to carefully consider a range of strategies to promote public safety.

As law enforcement veterans who have dedicated our lives and careers to protecting public safety at every level of local, state, and federal government, we are now working to envision a criminal justice system that is fairer and more just while keeping crime low. But we must be smart about it.

If we are serious as a society about rooting out the causes of our over reliance on the criminal justice system, the federal government has a significant role to play. It is uniquely poised to provide key leadership by making reforms at the federal level and to incentivize local lawmakers to implement innovative and groundbreaking work across the country.

We urge Congress and the administration to carefully consider a range of strategies to promote public safety and to help ensure justice for local communities. With those goals in mind, this report offers specific policy recommendations in each of five areas:

  • Reducing unnecessary incarceration
  • Increasing mental health and drug treatment
  • Bolstering community policing
  • Improving juvenile justice
  • Preserving and expanding recidivism reduction

Implementation of and funding for our recommendations will help to forge a path toward our common goal of a safer nation.

Policy Recommendations & Statements

Policy recommendations and statements, including those herein, do not necessarily reflect the beliefs of all individual members of Law Enforcement Leaders.