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House Judiciary Committee Sends Bass Criminal Justice Bills Focused on Women To Floor

September 15, 2020
Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Judiciary Committee sent two pieces of bipartisan criminal justice reform lead by Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA), Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, to the House Floor.

H.R. 7718, the Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women in Custody Act of 2020, and H.R 8161, the One-Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act of 2020, were both passed out of the Judiciary Committee by a unanimous voice vote. Women are the fastest-growing incarcerated population in the United States and both pieces of legislation address the growing need for the humane treatment of these individuals and decreasing the chance of reoffending.

“I’m incredibly encouraged by the bipartisan support both bills received today in committee,” said Congressmember Bass. “Our criminal justice system must be reformed. When it was created, it did not have women in mind and it did not have resources to actually reduce crime in mind. I urge my colleagues to support these two important measures as they come to the House Floor for a final vote.”

H.R. 7718, the Protecting the Health and Wellness of Babies and Pregnant Women in Custody Act of 2020, would provide a national standard of care to address pregnancy-related needs of incarcerated women during pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum periods. It would also require the Department of Justice to collect data on women's mental and physical health in federal, state, tribal, and local corrections, focusing on pregnancy and the postpartum period. Read more here.

H.R 8161, the One-Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act of 2020, would create resource centers in communities to assist individuals exiting custody and formerly incarcerated individuals, removing burdens on parole and probation programs throughout the country. These centers will reduce the chance of reoffence by making basic resources available to individuals who would otherwise not have access to them. The hope is that formerly incarcerated individuals would be able to run these programs. Read more here.