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Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday announced the formation of a presidential commission on criminal justice, revitalizing a body that in the 1960s fundamentally altered the American criminal justice system.
The new members of the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice took their oath of office, administered by Barr, Wednesday morning, and immediately set to work on their agenda for the coming months. Barr's remarks linked their work to the last such commission, which was organized by President Lyndon Johnson.
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"President Trump is an unwavering supporter of our men and women in blue, and he recognized that this commission is much needed to support law enforcement," Barr said. "It is, to be sure, long overdue. The last time there was a national commission on law enforcement was in 1965."
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Barr's allusion to the Johnson crime commission sets the stage for a comprehensive reassessment of the criminal justice system. The new commission's work will likely highlight how the challenges of criminal justice have changed radically over the past half century.
The new commission is a diverse group of law enforcement officers, litigators, and stakeholders from local, state, and federal jurisdictions. It will be chaired by Phil Keith, who currently serves as the director of the Community Oriented Policing Services office within the Justice Department. Other board members include local sheriffs and police chiefs, U.S. attorneys, the Florida attorney general, and the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
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This group, Barr said Wednesday, will discuss key issues facing law enforcement in the 21st century. These include the challenges of mental illness; improving officer recruitment, training, and...
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