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Criminal Justice Overhaul Is Becoming a Bridge Issue

Talk about mixed company. A widely varied group of Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, cabinet officers and Hollywood types will gather on Thursday at a Washington hotel for a major bipartisan summit meeting on criminal justice overhaul.

Coming weeks after the creation of a new advocacy group that teamed up such disparate interests as representatives of Koch Industries and the Center for American Progress, the summit meeting is more evidence that criminal justice overhaul is an area attracting attention along the political spectrum, increasing chances that something could happen.

Their main focus is reducing the nation’s high incarceration rate and the costly imprisonment of thousands of people for nonviolent crimes and drug offenses, shattering families and lives.

The lineup of more than 80 speakers includes Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez; Gov. Nathan Deal, Republican of Georgia; former Speaker Newt Gingrich; Senate Democrats; House Republicans and Scott Budnick, an executive producer of “The Hangover” who is also active in criminal justice overhaul circles.

— Carl Hulse

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