Congressman Wesley Hunt Introduces Bipartisan Safer Supervision Act
Congressman Wesley Hunt (R-TX) joins U.S. Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Burgess Owens (R-UT), Glenn Ivey (D-MD), Byron Donalds (R-FL), David Trone (D-MD), and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) in introducing the bipartisan, bicameral Safer Supervision Act.
This bill would better ensure that the federal supervised release system is directing its resources to most effectively reduce recidivism and promote public safety, rehabilitation, and reintegration into society.
“I am extremely proud to co-lead the Safer Supervision Act, which is a bipartisan effort that has the broad support of many law enforcement organizations across the country,” said Congressman Wesley Hunt.
“This pro-rehabilitation legislation better allocates resources for reintegration into society, it helps to remove the permanent scarlet letter of incarceration, and it creates positive incentives that encourage true rehabilitation.”
“The Safer Supervision Act is a win for law enforcement, the judicial system, and those who have served their time and reformed. I am proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who support this necessary step to reduce recidivism and promote rehabilitation,”
said Congressman Hunt.
"In a time when we are still looking for ways to rectify decades of federal mandatory minimums that resulted in excessively punitive and disproportionate prison sentences, I am pleased to join my fellow sponsors of the Safer Supervision Act in making critical and necessary steps forward in reshaping and reforming our criminal justice system to work in a more fair and just manner,” said Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
“By expanding and shifting strategies to advance public safety, the Safer Supervision Act helps reinforce the importance of common-sense discretion and individualized assessments for those transitioning out of the criminal justice system with an eye towards what works best for their successful rehabilitation," said Congresswoman Jackson Lee.
“Federal supervisory release officers are overwhelmed. They are managing triple the case loads of their state counterparts, largely because the federal system puts too many people on supervision for too long. This is especially true of cases involving nonviolent charges and when the evidence shows certain former offenders, by all measures, pose no threat to community safety,” said David Safavian, EVP and General Counsel of CPAC.
“By incentivizing positive behavior and providing a path for early termination of supervision for those who have proven themselves worthy, Congress can help probation officers focus on those who need intensive supervision. The legislation would also confer law enforcement status and benefits on those who put their lives on the line every day to oversee people released from federal prison. Giving probation officers these tools is not soft on crime. Rather, doing so will make our neighborhoods safer. As such, CPAC strongly supports the Safer Supervision Act,” said Safavian of CPAC.
Facts about the Safer Supervision Act:
- Imposes supervision based on the individual facts. The bill would require courts to conduct an individualized assessment of the appropriateness of supervision and to state its reasons on the record.
- Creates positive incentives that will encourage rehabilitation and good conduct. This bill would create a rebuttable presumption in favor of early termination when the individual establishes that they have served 50 percent of their term (or 2/3 for violent offenses), have shown good conduct and compliance, and when they have shown that termination would not jeopardize public safety. This presumption would further ensure that limited supervision resources are being directed to the cases that warrant it, while also creating strong positive incentives for individuals to take the steps needed to rehabilitate and reintegrate.
- Provides courts with discretion to determine how to assess minor controlled substance possession violations. Although supervision can always be revoked for any violation of supervision conditions, revocation and re-imprisonment is mandatory in certain circumstances, including for any possession of any controlled substance. The bill would create a narrow carveout so that courts have the discretion to decide whether re-imprisonment or treatment and rehabilitation is the best approach for minor misdemeanor possession offenses that do not involve intent to distribute.
The legislation is endorsed by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National District Attorneys Association, Right on Crime, Americans for Prosperity, Futures Without Violence, Faith and Freedom, Prison Fellowship, R Street Institute, Texas Public Policy Foundation, REFORM Alliance, and others.