Port: North Dakota should create a Department of Public Safety


MINOT, N.D. — Nationally, where there once seemed to be a rare bipartisan consensus around criminal justice reform, Republicans are turning their backs on it.

The FIRST STEP Act is a palatable, marketable acronym that could only be achieved with a confusing formal bill title: “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act.”

Somewhere in the bowels of Congress, a staffer is getting paid to come up with this stuff.

The bill was one of the signature policy accomplishments of disgraced former President Donald Trump’s term in office, but it’s fallen from favor. At least among Republicans. “DeSantis has pledged to repeal the law. Mike Pence has said it’s time to ‘rethink’ it,” Dave Weigel reports for Semafor, noting that even Trump seems to be distancing himself.

Here in North Dakota, too, the tide seems to have shifted back to a “get tough” stance amid indicators of rising crime.

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