Sen. Kamala Harris said Tuesday there's enough common ground on criminal justice reform that she's optimistic Congress can come together to pass a new plan.
"There's some room for getting legislation passed," the California Democrat, who is a former prosecutor and state attorney general, said after giving opening remarks at a conference on women in prison. "This is something that should not be thought of as even bipartisan; it should be a nonpartisan issue, and I feel optimistic that we can appeal to people across the aisle."
Addressing the nation's overcrowded prisons has been a sticking point in American politics for decades. In recent years, a bipartisan group of senators has worked on a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill that would reduce maximum minimum sentencing and increase treatment options, but the group hasn't been able to get it to the floor for a vote. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has pushed for federal prosecutors to pursue the harshest sentences possible, saying it will deter crime.