A coalition of 130 police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors has banded together to reduce the number of people in American prisons. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy are among the group, which is backed by organizations as diverse as the NAACP and the conservative Koch Industries.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama will meet with some members of the new organization, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, described in its own press release as "a surprising new voice" on the issue of mass incarceration.
In a mission statement posted on its website, the group said that stopping crime and keeping people out of jail are not mutually exclusive.
In particular, the organization said, locking up too many people for drug and nonviolent offenses can "kick-start a cycle of incarceration that turns first-time offenders into repeat offenders."