BARELY LEGAL | Short-Lived Bipartisan Harmony Over Criminal Sentencing Reform

In a legislature largely characterized by inefficiency and polarizing partisan interests, passing sweeping reforms to any existing law is a tall task. However, that impasse was bridged in October 2015, when the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 was met with bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act seeks to address the high United States incarceration rate, which exceeds that of any other country. While the bill would only address federal prisoners (only 8.5 percent of the total number of incarcerated individuals in the country), its introduction could be a harbinger for change to the entire penal system. The bill is currently supported by 28 cosponsors in the Senate (15 Democrat and 13 Republican) and 60 cosponsors in the House (43 Democrat and 17 Republican), which represents uncommon bipartisan support.