Here, Sens. Rand Paul and Corey Booker:
The measure, called the REDEEM Act, has several pillars: It encourages states to change policies so children are directed away from the adult criminal justice system; automatically expunges or seals — depending on their age — criminal records of juveniles who committed nonviolent crimes; and limits solitary confinement of children, except in rare circumstances.
The legislation also creates a path for adults with nonviolent offenses to seal their criminal records and restores food stamp and welfare benefits for low-level drug offenders who have served their sentences.
The senators touted the legislation as a smarter use of taxpayer funds while more effectively focusing rehabilitation efforts for young individuals to help them avoid committing future crimes.
“I will work with anyone, from any party, to make a difference for the people of New Jersey and this bipartisan legislation does just that,” Booker said in a statement to be released Tuesday.
In his own statement, Paul said the existing criminal system has kept scores of young men and women in a “cycle of poverty and incarceration.”