Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

October 15, 2017
Reforming our nation's criminal justice system is critical to ending hunger and poverty in the United States.  Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World.

Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The federal prison population has increased more than 750 percent over the past 35 years. Moreover, Hispanic (38.3 percent) and African-American (31.5 percent) defendants are disproportionately convicted of offenses that carry a federal mandatory minimum penalty (compared to 27.4 overall).

While serving time in prison, people lose income and work skills and often lack opportunities to participate in rehabilitative programs. This makes it harder to find a job after leaving prison. Children of incarcerated parents are more likely to fall into poverty, which often results in lower academic achievement and higher risk of depression, withdrawal, and behavioral issues.

Use the links below to download our complete analysis for the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017 (S. 1917).

Hispanic and African-American defendants are disproportionately convicted of offenses that carry a mandatory minimum penalty.

from our Resource Library

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  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

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