Church of Scientology Joins National Coalition Urging Biden to Make Historic Reforms to Criminal Legal System

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, December 23, 2020 / — Criminal Legal System – The Justice Roundtable coalition has submitted a blueprint for criminal legal system reforms to the Biden transition team in a document titled Transformative Justice Recommendations for the New Administration and the 117th Congress. The report details comprehensive and broad reform recommendations for the federal system providing a vision of transformative justice for the incoming President and the 117th Congress.

The Justice Roundtable is the nation’s oldest and largest bipartisan coalition advocating for federal criminal legal system reform. With over 100 participating organizations, the Justice Roundtable advocates for reforms across a broad range of issues including sentencing reform, reentry, commutations and pardons, human rights, youth justice, and law enforcement.

The Justice Roundtable, a coalition of national reform groups, recommends to Biden transition team blueprint for sweeping reforms to the federal system.In our religious tradition people are considered basically good and capable of rehabilitation and real change.”

John Stanard, Church of Scientology’s Social Betterment Policy Director

Following George Floyd’s murder and an increased awareness in the public about police abuses, the document includes recommendations for reforms covering many aspects of the criminal justice system.

The Transformative Justice Recommendations report argues that full system transformation begins with law enforcement accountability – the subject of unprecedented protests – and continues by correcting the harms of pretrial detention, the punitiveness of drug policy, the excesses of sentencing, the barriers to reentry, and the under-use of clemency.

The U.S. incarceration system has functioned as a barrier to justice and equity for too long. The upheaval caused by overly aggressive policing on top of an unprecedented health pandemic has intensified the need for meaningful changes to transform the criminal legal system into one that truly serves the interests of justice and human rights.

The Justice Roundtable recommendations say: “In their totality, the recommendations in this report are designed to help the President and Congress steer the nation into a new decade of healing and hope… With the right intention and tools, the country can heal its divides.”

Among the many groups supporting the report’s recommendations are the National Council of Churches, the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office, Families Against Mandatory Minimum, Human Rights Watch, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Vera Institute of Justice, The Sentencing Project, NAACP, and ACLU.

The Church of Scientology has a history of working for a fair and just criminal system, one that emphasizes rehabilitation over punishment. A long-time participant in the Justice Roundtable, the Church’s National Affairs Office joined with other prominent national organizations to endorse the Justice Roundtable Transformative Justice document.

John Stanard, the Church’s Social Betterment Policy Director, commented, “In our religious tradition people are considered basically good and capable of rehabilitation and real change. We have always supported reforms designed to bring about a more just and less punitive criminal legal system. For example, we supported federal legislative initiatives including the First Step Act of 2018 and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020.

“The start of a new administration and Congress provides an opportunity to bring about meaningful reforms to many aspects of the system as outlined in the Justice Roundtable Transformative Justice recommendations. We look forward to working with our allies and partners to help bring about these reforms.”

The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office has hosted many meetings and events to promote criminal legal system reforms, including awarding Cynthia Roseberry, currently deputy director of justice policy at the ACLU, a humanitarian award for her earlier work on clemency petitions. The United States leads the world in the number of incarcerated persons per capita; a disproportionate number of whom are black and brown men and women. Many of these were jailed for non-violent drug-related offenses. The Church has consistently held events and briefings to promote a more equitable criminal legal system.

John Stanard
Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
+1 202-667-6404


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