Criminal Justice Bill: what do Republicans get out of it?

So in an unusual show of bipartisanship Congress likely to pass and the president seems ready to sign anbipartisan criminal justice bill

This seems like a good bill full of putting aside the gut need to punish punish in favor of a more compassionate and nuanced view that in the long term may actually save money and actually help crime ridden communities.

I therefore have difficulty seeing why Republicans would support it. It doesn’t appear to have any big handouts to big buisiness, or punishments for minorities, and stands smack in the face of the “get tough on crime” platform that has been the Republican Mantra at least as far back as Willie Horton.

I can understand that they might want an actual accomplishment that they can go out on to say “yes we can govern” before they return to being the bringers of gridlock and obstruction once the Dems take over, but I would have figured that it would be something like an infrastructure bill that is needed enough that they could get it past the Dems, but also has an opportunity to pay off their friends, rather than something that seems counter to their previous stances.

Am I missing something?

All I can think of is that the wealthy who the Republicans represent don’t lose anything by reducing incarceration a smidge. A few of them might even have relatives they know be helped. And it also cuts costs to the justice system.

Get tough on crime was to garner votes. Now that sentiment has shifted being slightly more reasonable may garner more votes than being tough.

The closest guess I can come up with is this is an attempt to appeal to working class whites.

When people associated crime with non-whites, the gop were very tough on crime. But now that opiates are making criminals out of whites, they want reform.

Also whites without college love the gop. White men without college prefer the GOP 3:1, white women without college prefer the GOP 2:1.

I’d assume Trump and the gop base have huge numbers of convicts among them due to drug crimes. I am from a rural area
There are a lot of whites without college there, a lot of Trump supporters and a lot of convictions linked to drugs.

Maybe this is an effort to appeal to whites without college who tend to have a large number of people arrested for petty crimes and drug crimes in their ranks.

Politically, it takes some of the edge off the party’s toxic image, while not inconveniencing its actual patrons.

Also note the sponsors of the 11/15 version included Dems like Booker, Durbin, Leahy, Coons, Klobuchar, Blumenthal, Duckworth, Gillibrand, Hirono and Baldwin, joining such Republicans as Grassley, Cruz, Graham, Ernst, Paul and Flake, and a bunch others on both sides. So it seems there’s something for everyone.

Black votes. Also why Trump is meeting with Kim Kardashian and Kanye, pardoning black inmates, and having photo ops with rooms of full of smiling black men.

It may not really help black people, but a pretty low rent way of giving off that impression. Even mild inroads there could give the democrats big problems.

If the aim is to reduce the prison population, that seems like a non-controversial way to reduce spending. Or at least get some positive publicity without spending any taxpayer money.

I assume the Republicans support it because they see it as the morally right thing to do.

The same republicans who try to cover up treason, tear down democracy, take health care away from sick people and support remorseless sex offenders for high office?

Lots of us have trouble believing they care about morals or care about the well being of people low on the socio-economic totem pole. There has to be some self interest behind their vote.

This is pretty much the only thing I can think of - reducing spending at the federal and state levels. There are people who commit crimes because they don’t want to be homeless.

So two problems with this.

Firstly, you’ll have to excuse me if “Republicans doing the right thing” sounds ridiculous to all of us here. This is the party that confirmed Brett Kavanaugh, continues to try to cripple the ACA, and protects Donald Trump in the face of overwhelming evidence that he’s a crook.

Secondly, even within the republican framework, if we assume that that exists in any meaningful way, this makes no sense. Republican moral values dictate a “tough on crime” stance. That’s what Trump ran on. That’s what republicans have been pushing for for decades, to the point where Bill Clinton felt the need to cede that ground to appeal to moderates. Where does this massive shift of face come from?

“All of us?” :dubious:

Most of us. Mea culpa, some people haven’t quite figured it out yet. :slight_smile:

Koch brothers have been pushing for these changes for a while

It’s called contingency planning.

Which then just moves the question up one level. What do the Koch Brothers get out of it?

I believe they’ve always been for smaller government.

While clicking through some news headlines I learned the following:

(a) There was sufficient bipartisan support for a bill like this during the Obama years but McConnell stymied it because he “didn’t want Obama to get a victory.”
(b) Jared Kushner has taken an interest in criminal justice reform because his own father is a criminal.
© Given hyper-partisanship and ‘The Permanent Campaign’ the best time to pass controversial legislation may be specifically during the December lame-duck session in even-numbered years! (Many Congressmen are leaving forever; the residue have a maximum delay until re-election.)

Apparently, this follows the lead of red states for which criminal justice reform has cut down on crime and the jail population, as well as saving money.