A few short months after Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Atlantic cover story “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” Congress is working to solve the problem of excessive jail time for non-violent drug offenses. The push for criminal justice reform could deliver President Obama with a legacy accomplishment in his final year in office. With support from across the political spectrum, reform bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress to reduce prison terms and mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenses. One usual foe of the President has been leading the effort — Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, the Chairman of the House Judiciary committee. On the verge of President Obama’s final State of the Union address, Representative Goodlatte joined The Atlantic’s Washington Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons in an Atlantic Exchange to discuss the effort for bipartisan criminal justice reform.
Also in This Series
A Retrospective on Race in America
“The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.” - Frederick Douglass
Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter
with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg
On June 13th, Secretary Carter will join The Atlantic’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, for a conversation about the military, leadership, and foreign affairs.