This is fantastic news:
Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., wants a "top-to-bottom review" by Congress of the nation's criminal-justice system with an eye toward reducing the growing prison population.
With the support of the White House and some Senate Republicans, Webb is proposing a blue-ribbon commission spend 1½ years looking at law-and-order issues.
Webb's office says the panel should take a sweeping look at the way the nation controls crime, metes out punishment and returns felons to society.
A background document says of the commission: "Its task will be to propose concrete, wide-ranging reforms to responsibly reduce the overall incarceration rate; improve federal and local responses to international and domestic gang violence; restructure our approach to drug policy; improve the treatment of mental illness; improve prison administration, and establish a system for reintegrating ex-offenders."
Naturally, this is just one of those "blue ribbon commissions" and won't do anything on its own, but at least the conversation is starting at high levels.