Criminal Justice Reform

An effective criminal justice system is an essential part of a safe and just society. We must hold those who break the law accountable, but we must also pursue justice in a way that is compassionate, sensible, and fair. If we focus on improving our criminal justice system, we will make our country safer for law enforcement and communities while saving taxpayer money, helping offenders turn their lives around, and reducing the number of future victims.

Ninety-five percent of individuals incarcerated in prisons will be released at some point. These individuals will rejoin our communities, yet our current criminal justice system does little to help them reintegrate in a way that protects neighborhoods and restores individuals. In Georgia, we’ve seen the impact that meaningful reforms can have on the criminal justice system, and I’ve worked in Congress to build on that success.

The Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, which I introduced, became law in 2016 as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. This law is designed to help state and local governments train law enforcement and other first responders to recognize individuals suffering from mental illness and interact with them more safely. It also provides resources to expand mental health and veterans treatment courts, while encouraging greater collaboration among the justice system and community members. The Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act recognizes that it doesn’t make sense to use our jails as mental health institutions, and it moves us away from that flawed model.

I’m also committed to efforts to strengthen other aspects of the justice system. States like Georgia and Texas have paved the way for conservative criminal justice reform, which can save money and improve lives. I introduced the Prison Reform and Redemption Act to create a federal prison-wide system for evaluating the risk of every individual prisoner for reoffending and then offering evidence-based resources—like mental health care, vocational skills, substance abuse treatment, and faith-based programs—that make them less likely to reoffend when they are released. I’ve seen the results of similar state-level programs, and thoughtful prison reform works.

By building on proven reform efforts, we can continue to make the United States a safer place.

Related Content

February 5, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s State of the Union address:

January 29, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) met this afternoon with Matthew Charles, who was released from prison earlier this month after serving over 20 years in custody. The First Step Act, which President Trump signed into law in December, led to Mr. Charles' release. 

January 16, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) spoke on the House Floor to honor former Georgia Governor Nathan Deal for his leadership over the last eight years. 

To watch his full remarks, click here


December 22, 2018
Press Release
President Donald Trump has signed the First Step Act into law. The bipartisan justice reform bill introduced by Rep. Doug Collins represents one of the most significant overhauls of the federal criminal justice system in a generation.
December 20, 2018
Press Release
"The First Step Act invests in what Americans value most fiercely—people. . . . This bill shows us that reverence for human life is fundamental to justice, and I'm thankful that so many of my colleagues stand here united in that same confidence today."
November 30, 2018
Press Release
Today, House Republicans confirmed the nomination of Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) to lead Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee as its ranking member next Congress.
November 14, 2018
Press Release
"The president unequivocally called on the Senate to pass this legislation, which the House voted for overwhelmingly this May. We began working with the White House on the FIRST STEP Act over a year ago, and we couldn’t have asked for better, more driven partners than President Trump . . . "
August 3, 2018
Press Release
“I love coming back to Jackson County, I love coming back home because I hear your stories and I go back and tell those stories because we’re seeing good things happen.”
May 22, 2018
Press Release
“Rep. Doug Collins has demonstrated that he is committed to finding consensus for conservative solutions to major problems. Rep. Collins has led the way once again with a prison reform bill that will protect public safety while helping inmates earn a second chance at life,” said Leader McCarthy.
May 9, 2018
Press Release
"The bipartisan support we saw in the Judiciary Committee today reflects the resolve that I’ve seen among my colleagues to take positive strides towards a restorative justice system."