Professor John Pfaff talked with the Huffington Post about a new bill being introduced by Senator Corey Booker that aims to reduce the prison sentences of currently incarcerated individuals.
Booker announced on Monday that he will be introducing the Matthew Charles and William Underwood Second Look Act in the Senate later this week, while Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) will do the same in the House. The legislation would give federal prisoners who have served more than 10 years of their sentence the opportunity to petition a judge to determine whether they’re eligible for a reduced sentence or release.
John Pfaff, a professor at Fordham law school and expert in incarceration and sentencing for over 20 years, called the bill “positive” and an “important step” toward addressing mass incarceration.
“The idea of allowing us to reconsider sentences that have been imposed is very helpful,” Pfaff told HuffPost. “Too often we call people violent offenders, which is problematic, like this is who this person is. People age out of violence.”
“They’re not the same person they were when we locked them up and we should reevaluate that,” he added, noting the federal system currently has no parole process and people generally have to serve at least 85% of their sentence before they can be considered for release.