Criminal Justice

Fighting for Justice

Criminal Justice Reform

Senator Casey believes we need to rebalance our criminal justice system to reduce the overcrowding of prisons with nonviolent offenders serving unnecessarily long sentences, and instead focus on violent crime, which poses the greatest risk to our communities. 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 make a number of improvements to the criminal justice system, including:
    • reducing unnecessary mandatory minimums and rebalancing sentencing practices to focus on violent crime instead of overcrowding prisons with nonviolent offenders;
    • making retroactive the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the crack-cocaine sentencing disparity, to allow certain nonviolent offenders to petition courts for an individualized review of their sentence; and
    • improving programming for current prisoners to help them successfully reenter society upon their release and permitting eligible nonviolent juvenile offenders to seal or expunge their records.
  • 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.Senator Casey cosponsored the Democracy Restoration Act, which restores federal voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals who have completed their sentences.
  • Senator Casey has signed multiple appropriations letters 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.
  • 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 some 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.

Juvenile Justice Reform

Children are not little adults. They have unique needs and require different treatment. Nowhere is this more true than in 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 has signed appropriations letters supporting funding for a wide variety of juvenile justice programs through the Department of Justice, including the Youth Mentoring Program.
  • Senator Casey has signed appropriations letters 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: Supreme Court Now Further In Grip Of Corporate Special Interests

    U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released a statement on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to The Supreme Court of the United States: "Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation further stacks the Supreme Court in favor of corporate special interests who already have far too much power. This is now a Supreme Court by and for the corporate right. As a result, workers, those with pre-existing conditions, individuals with disabilities and ordinary Americans seeking their day in court are more likely to be deprived of equal justice under law." ### Read More


  • Casey-Led Opioid Bills To Be Signed Into Law

    Following passage in Congress of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, H.R. 6), U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the legislation includes a number of his legislative priorities, including measures that increase response resources for states and several provisions to protect infants, children and seniors caught up in the epidemic.  This legislation will now head to the President's desk to be signed into law. Read More


  • Casey Secures Two Bipartisan Air Safety Wins in FAA Bill Headed to President

    Today, for the first time in 6 years, Congress passed a reauthorization of our nation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Following years of advocacy, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) was able to secure new provisions which will work to ensure safety for pilots and passengers aboard all commercial aircraft. Specifically, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 includes provisions from Casey’s Stopping Assault while Flying Enforcement Act (SAFE) and Saracini Aviation Safety Act. Read More


  • Casey Looks To Bolster Community Safety Across PA

    In an effort to boost community safety across Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has introduced the Law Enforcement Resources and Community Safety Act of 2018. Specifically, this package would provide resources to keep first responders safe from fentanyl exposure on the job, strengthen witness protection programs and address state and local problems associated with drug trafficking, gangs and organized crime. Read More


  • Casey, Colleagues File Bill To Block Publication Of 3D-Printed Gun Blueprints

    U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), alongside a number of his Senate colleagues, filed legislation to block the online publication of blueprints that can be used to make fully functioning 3D-printed guns. The 3D Printed Gun Safety Act would make it illegal for anyone to intentionally publish a digital file online that programs a 3D printer to automatically manufacture a firearm. The move comes just hours before Trump administration is going to allow people to start posting such blueprints online. Read More


  • Casey, Colleagues Look To Fight Domestic Abuse In The Digital Age

    Although technological advancement has done a great deal to improve the daily lives of Americans across the country, it has also opened the door to a troubling new form of domestic abuse: the use of internet-connected home devices to harass and control victims. In an effort to combat this disturbing practice highlighted by a recent New York Times piece , U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), alongside U.S. Senators Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Tina Smith (D-MN), called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take steps to make updated resources and assistance available to victims, as well as law enforcement, judicial personnel and other professionals who assist victims of this type of domestic abuse. Read More


  • 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


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