More on Crime
WASHINGTON, DC – Within the first two weeks of re-entry, individuals released from correctional facilities are 129 times more likely to die from an opioid overdose than the general population. To help ensure that individuals can access the care they need, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the Supporting Positive Outcomes After Release Act, legislation that prohibits states from terminating an inmates’ Medicaid coverage while they are incarcerated, a practice that often prevents individuals from accessing treatment in the critical days and weeks after release. The legislation would prohibit states from terminating eligible individual’s Medicaid because of incarceration, and instead, with coverage only temporarily suspended, ensure access to health care services more quickly upon release.
June 15, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from Texas for yielding the time, and I thank her for her leadership in opposing this bill. I, too, oppose the bill. This bill is yet another in a long line of so-called tough-on-crime bills that Congress has enacted since President Nixon declared a war on drugs nearly 50 years ago. These laws have, without question, failed to win the so-called war. But they have succeeded in placing the United States as number one in incarceration rates in the world to the extent it is so bad that some studies have actually shown that our incarceration rate is so bad that it actually adds to crime because so many children are being raised by parents who are incarcerated.
June 7, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after voting for H.R. 3249 the Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant Program Authorization Act of 2018, which would establish a grant program that is supposed to curb gang activity: “Once again, we were asked to vote on a crime bill that was not subject to a hearing. We have no input from experts as to the value and effectiveness of this grant program. In the absence of expert advice in developing this bill, I supported it because it authorizes evidence-based and data-driven intervention and prevention initiatives. These programs are essential to reducing violent crime and include juvenile justice programs, drug and mental health treatment, and violence-reduction programs.
May 22, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) submitted the following statement into the Congressional Record regarding his position on H.R. 5682 the FIRST STEP Act: “Mr. Speaker, first I would like to acknowledge the gentleman from Georgia, Representative Doug Collins, and the gentlemen from New York, Representative Hakeem Jeffries, for their hard work and dedication in improving this bill over the last several weeks. Historically, the United States of America has been plagued with serious, fundamental problems within our criminal justice system. For far too long, policymakers have chosen to play politics and disapprove of common-sense policy that is specifically geared towards reducing crime by instead enacting so-called ‘tough on crime’ slogans and soundbites, such as ‘three strikes and you’re out,’ ‘mandatory minimum sentencing,’ and even rhymes such as, ‘you do the adult crime, you do the adult time.’
May 22, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, first I would like to acknowledge the gentleman from Georgia, Representative DOUG COLLINS, and the gentleman from New York, Representative HAKEEM JEFFRIES, for their hard work and dedication in improving this bill over the last several weeks. Historically, the United States of America has been plagued with serious, fundamental problems within our criminal justice system. For far too long, policymakers have chosen to play politics and disapprove of common-sense policy that is specifically geared towards reducing crime by instead enacting so-called ``tough on crime'' slogans and soundbites, such as ``three strikes and you're out,'' ``mandatory minimum sentencing,'' and even rhymes such as, ``you do the adult crime, you do the adult time.'' These policies may sound appealing, but their impact ranges from a negligible reduction in crime to an actual increase in crime.
May 16, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 5698 the Protect and Serve Act: “The evidence shows that violence against law enforcement has been in overall decline for 25 years, and I want that decline to continue. What has changed in recent years is a rising demand by citizens for police accountability. The appropriate response to strained police-community relations is not to criminalize what is already a crime. Instead, we should support bills like the Congressional Black Caucus’s Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, which helps law enforcement obtain training on de-escalation techniques and policing persons who are disabled or mentally ill.
March 19, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the White House released its new plan to address the nation’s opioid crisis: “Today, the President announced policies to ensure that we lose the war on opiates. Our nation has been losing the so-called ‘war on drugs’ for nearly fifty years now, and the President remains committed to those failed policies. Slogans like ‘mandatory minimum sentences’ and ‘three strikes and you’re out’ do nothing to curb the drug trade, and have instead resulted in mass incarceration - a burden that has been borne largely by minorities. If the White House wants to get serious about solving this crisis they will dispense with the failed policies based on slogans and soundbites, and consider evidence-based proposals that focus on prevention, early intervention and rehabilitation.”
February 27, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017: “While I support the underlying goal of prosecuting those who facilitate sex trafficking online to the fullest extent of the law, I am opposed to how this bill accomplishes that goal. There are laws already on the books that have been successfully used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to send executives of websites that promote prostitution to federal prison. Further, the bill will apply not only to online advertisers of sex trafficking, which Congress already criminalized in 2015 when we passed the SAVE Act (see 18 U.S.C. 1591), and punishes conduct that is much less serious than what is ordinarily viewed as 'sex trafficking.'
November 21, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) received the 2017 Hope House Award. This award is given to those who have made a significant difference in the lives of those who are incarcerated. “I am honored to accept this year’s Hope House Award,” said Congressman Scott. “I commend Hope House for the essential work they do to keep parents in contact with their children in meaningful ways. The work done by Hope House is sadly necessary here in the United States, where we have the highest incarceration rate in the world. I am working in Congress to fix our criminal justice system and address the problems of mass incarceration and the toll it takes on families and children in particular.
November 7, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Jason Lewis (R-MN) introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at safely reining in the size and associated costs of the federal criminal code and prison system. H.R. 4261, the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Effective (SAFE) Justice Act takes a broad-based approach to improving the federal sentencing and corrections system, spanning from sentencing reform to release policies. The legislation, which is inspired by the successes of states across the country, will break the cycle of recidivism, concentrate prison space on violent and career criminals, increase the use of evidence-based alternatives to incarceration, curtail over-criminalization, reduce crime, and save money.