Harris to take part in bipartisan presidential forum on criminal justice reform

HARRISBURG, Oct. 24 – State Rep. Jordan Harris, D-Phila., House Democratic whip, is slated to be part of a panel on probation reform and question presidential candidate Julian Castro on criminal justice reform this weekend at the 2019 Second Step Presidential Justice Forum at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C.

“It’s a tremendous honor to take part in this vital discussion on where we go next with criminal justice reform,” Harris said. “Criminal justice reform has become the civil rights issue of our time, and it’s imperative that our presidential candidates on both sides have a plan for reform and voters understand exactly where the candidates stand and how they plan to move us forward on criminal justice.” 

The Second Step Presidential Justice Forum, hosted by the 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center, is an opportunity for all presidential candidates to present their criminal justice reform platforms with specific policy proposals and measurable results to be achieved by 2024. President Donald Trump will be speaking to the forum on Friday, and beginning Saturday, Democratic presidential candidates Reps. John Delaney and Tulsi Gabbard, Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary Julian Castro will all speak on criminal justice reform.

On Saturday, Harris is taking part in a panel discussion sponsored by the Reform Alliance on probation reform. Harris and
state Rep. Sheryl Delozier, R-Cumberland, have introduced legislation aimed at reforming Pennsylvania’s probation system to reduce technical violations and reward good behavior to reduce the state’s growing probation population.

“We’ve reached a watershed moment in America in regard to criminal justice reform and there’s truly no turning back,” Harris said. “This quickly has become a national conversation, and I’m proud to help lead that conversation in a bipartisan fashion with all sides represented and talking together at the table.”

Harris and Delozier have received recognition for their Clean Slate legislation. Clean Slate was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in June 2018 and allows for the sealing of some criminal records. It’s expected that within the next year, nearly 30 million criminal records will automatically be sealed in Pennsylvania. The legislation was called a national model and has been undertaken by several other states. 

20/20 is the only national black bipartisan organization that includes law enforcement, activists, judges, prosecutors and public defenders, state and local elected officials, educators, students, formerly incarcerated individuals and other community leaders. Harris was previously honored by 20/20 with their 2017 Champion of Justice award.