Criminal Justice

Fighting for Justice

Criminal Justice Reform

We need to rebalance our criminal justice system to target violent offenders who pose the greatest risk to our communities and reduce the overcrowding of prisons with nonviolent offenders serving unnecessarily long sentences. We also need to make sure that people who made mistakes but paid their debt to society are not forever punished by policies that keep them from exercising their civil rights and accessing the ladders of opportunity.

  • Senator Casey cosponsored the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. This bill would reduce unnecessary mandatory minimums and rebalance sentencing practices to target violent offenders instead of overcrowding prisons with nonviolent offenders. It would also improve programming for current prisoners to help them successfully reenter society upon their release and permit eligible nonviolent juvenile offenders to seal or expunge their record.
  • Senator Casey cosponsored the Fair Chance Act. This bill would “ban the box”, or prevent federal agencies and contractors from inquiring about job applicants’ criminal histories until after offering a conditional offer of employment.
  • In the 113th Congress, Senator Casey cosponsored the Smarter Sentencing Act. This bill would have reduced mandatory minimums for certain nonviolent offenders and made retroactive the provision of the Fair Sentencing Act that reduced the crack-cocaine sentencing disparity.
  • Senator Casey signed a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging finalization of a rule to reduce the cost of inmate phone calls. In many states, a 15 minute call has an average cost of more than five dollars. Phone service in prison is important to both prisoners and their families, especially their kids, and should be reasonably priced.
  • Senator Casey signed an appropriations letter in support of funding for the Legal Services Corporation, through which attorneys help clients secure basic needs like health care, Social Security, child support and assistance for domestic violence victims.

Juvenile Justice Reform

Children are not little adults.  They have unique needs and require different treatment. Nowhere is this more true than the justice system, where a positive intervention can put a child back on the right path, and a negative one can send a child spiraling into crime, drugs or violence. Senator Casey has been a leading advocate to implement evidence-based practices to keep children on the right path and make sure young people in the system are treated fairly and always with the goal of rehabilitation.

  • Senator Casey sponsored the Youth PROMISE Act. This bill would empower local communities to fund, evaluate and implement evidence-based youth violence prevention and intervention strategies.
  • Senator Casey sponsored the Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act. This bill would close the so-called “valid court order” loophole, which currently allows judges to incarcerate children for crimes that would not be illegal if they were adults, like truancy or breaking curfew.
  • Senator Casey sponsored the Juvenile Fee Transparency Act. This bill would create, as a condition for receiving federal juvenile justice grants, reporting requirements related to the assessment of fees in the juvenile justice system. Currently, little is known about when fees are assessed, and what the consequences of those fees are for the juveniles, their families and the system as a whole.
  • Senator Casey signed an appropriations letter supporting funding for a wide variety of juvenile justice programs through the Department of Justice.
  • Senator Casey signed an appropriations letter supporting funding for the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer Program, which recruits and trains volunteers to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children navigating the court system.

Latest

  • Casey Applauds Wolf Opioid Declaration, Renews Call on Trump Administration For Federal Action

    Following Governor Tom Wolf's (D-PA) Statewide Disaster Declaration for the heroin and opioid abuse crisis in Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released the statement below. This announcement follows Casey’s 2017 introduction of the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act. In an effort to advance this legislation, Casey sent a letter to the President requesting the Trump Administration’s support. Casey’s legislation would invest $45 billion for prevention, detection, surveillance and treatment of opioids. Read More


  • Casey Statement on Trump Opioid Remarks

    "While I commend the Administration for taking this step, the federal government must do more than issue declarations. Just yesterday, I introduced legislation, the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act, that would invest $45 billion over 10 years to fund opioid treatment and prevention, as well as research on pain and addiction. In order to help families suffering from the opioid crisis, there must be substantial investments in treatment and increased access to care. Since March, I've held nine meetings across Pennsylvania to discuss the need to address opioid dependence. Good treatment, over a sustained period of time, gives those with an opioid dependence and their families the best shot at overcoming this challenge. The Administration and congressional Republicans must also stop pursuing health care schemes to decimate Medicaid, which would deny Americans’ coverage for substance use disorders. The opioid epidemic is a national emergency and we must respond with real investments in treatment."  Read More


  • Casey Leads Legislation to Invest $45B to Address Opioid Crisis

    To address a number of critical shortcomings of our Nation's approach to combating the opioid epidemic, including the Administration’s unwillingness to make a long-term investment in the fight, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Al Franken (D-MN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), introduced the Combating the Opioid Epidemic Act. This legislation would invest $45 billion for prevention, detection, surveillance and treatment of opioids. This is the same number proposed by Senate Republicans earlier this summer. Read More


  • Casey Warns Administration Not to Backslide on Affirmative Action

    In an effort to clarify recent reports of the Administration's attempts to undermine diversity consideration in the college admissions process, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for answers to four vital questions. Read More


  • Casey Statement on Charlottesville Attack

    Today our nation mourns for Heather Heyer, who was murdered in yesterday's domestic terror attack in Charlottesville, and her family. I’m also praying for the law enforcement officers who lost their lives as well, Pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. The terrorist who committed yesterday’s violent act must be held fully accountable. All public officials have an obligation to clearly state that hateful, racist, white nationalist groups were responsible for yesterday’s terrorism. Our nation should never tolerate their racism or their violent acts. Read More


  • Casey and Cicilline Introduce Commonsense Protections Against Violence

    U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI-01) announced that they have introduced legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of those who commit criminal acts based on hate. The Disarm Hate Act would prevent individuals convicted of violent misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms. Joining Senator Casey as cosponsors of this bill are Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Gillibrand (D-NY), Hassan (D-NH), Markey (D-MA), Murphy (D-CT), Shaheen (D-NH), Van Hollen (D-MD), Whitehouse (D-RI) and Wyden (D-OR). Read More


  • Casey: If You See or Suspect Child Abuse, You Must SPEAK Up

    As Child Abuse Prevention Month comes to a close, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has reintroduced his Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid Act (SPEAK Up Act). The bill would require states to implement a consistent standard for child abuse reporting by requiring those with responsibility over children, such as medical professionals, teachers and coaches, to report suspected child abuse and neglect directly to state authorities. Read More


  • Casey Announces “No” Vote On Judge Gorsuch for Supreme Court

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced his decision to vote "no" on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court of The United States. Casey has used the weeks since the nomination was announced to thoroughly review of Judge Gorsuch's record, meet with Gorsuch and judicial experts, and most recently reviewed his hours of testimony from his hearing. Below is a statement laying out Casey’s rationale on this decision: Read More


  • Casey Asks Office of Government Ethics to Review Latest Examples of President Trump’s Conflicts of Interest

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he is sending a letter to the Director of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), Walter M. Shaub, Jr, asking for OGE, the federal government's ethics watchdog for the executive branch, to analyze the latest examples of President Trump’s conflicts of interest. President Trump refuses to divest his holdings as Presidents of both parties have done in the past, creating conflicts of interest that could see the interests of private, often foreign businesses, put ahead of those of the American people. In his letter to OGE, Senator Casey cites a raft of new concerns, from potential pay-to-play arrangements to transactions on foreign soil that seemingly break President Trump’s promise of "no new foreign deals." Read More


  • In Wake of New Russia Allegations, Casey Calls On AG Sessions to Recuse Himself, Demands Appointment of Special Counsel

    In the wake of new allegations of contacts between President Trump's associates and Russian officials during the campaign and reports that Attorney General Sessions mislead the Senate Judiciary Committee about his interactions with Russian officials during his confirmation hearings, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is calling on Attorney General Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation and for the appointment of special counsel to probe President Trump’s ties to Russia and any contacts between Russian officials and his campaign. Read More


  • Casey Votes in Favor of Mattis at Defense, Kelly at Homeland Security

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the National Security Working Group and former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released a statement following his votes in favor of President Trump's nominees for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security: Read More


  • Casey Announces Voting Decision On Three Top Cabinet Nominees

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is ready to announce after deliberations, hearings, and review of available paperwork that he will vote "no" on President-elect Trump's Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt. Below are statements on his rationale on each individual decision: Read More


  • Casey Calls for Special Intelligence Report on Russian Intervention in 2016 Election; Seeks DOJ Probe

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) together with U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Ed Markey (D-MA) today called for a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) to determine the extent of Russian intervention in the 2016 United States presidential election, accompanied by an unclassified summary of its key judgments by January 20th, 2017. An NIE is the formal, authoritative assessment of the Director of National Intelligence related to a particular national security issue, which reflects the collective judgment of the nation's sixteen intelligence agencies. Read More


  • After Casey Pushes, Heroin Epidemic Gets Needed Funding To Address America’s Problem

    As the Senate passed sweeping health reform legislation today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced several major wins in the 21st Century Cures Act he advocated for on behalf of Pennsylvanians, including $1 billion to help states respond to the opioid abuse epidemic. Casey has long been an outspoken advocate in addressing the heroin crisis, leading several key pieces of legislation to passage to provide more funding and training in handling heroin abuse. He has also spent the last two years traveling across Pennsylvania to meet with health providers, law enforcement officials, and families impacted by the epidemic. Read More


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