Rand Paul: GOP should be part of criminal justice reform

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Key ObamaCare groups in limbo | Opioids sending thousands of kids into foster care | House passes bill allowing Medicaid to pay for opioid treatments US watchdog: 'We failed' to stem Afghan opium production Senate passes 6B defense bill MORE (R-Ky.) touted his support for criminal justice reform during Thursday night’s presidential debate, saying it’s something the Republican Party should be a part of.

“I think the war on drugs has disproportionately impacted our African-American community,” he said. “What we need to do is make sure the war on drugs is equal protection under the law and that we don’t unfairly incarcerate another generation of African-American males.”

Paul’s remarks come as lawmakers have introduced legislation in both the House and Senate to reduce certain mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassely (R-Iowa), has yet to make it to the floor for a vote and some critics have blammed conservatives for stalling efforts to get it there.

“Drug use is about equal between white and black, but three out of four people in prison are black or brown,” Paul said. “I think something has to change. I think it’s a big thing our party has to be a part of.”