By Natrina Gandana
Despite their differences, Sen. Cory Booker (D – NJ) and Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) joined forces to discuss criminal justice reform, highlighting the REDEEM (Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment) Act at Politico's Playbook Cocktails Event last week. As the odd duo's first ever joint appearance, both senators were able to bounce fluidly between one another appearing as respected colleagues and friends.
Although the cooperation was rare (Booker noted he could "write a dissertation of their disagreements"), the two were able to come to an understanding with the REDEEM Act, which calls for a comprehensive reform measure that would challenge the "cycle of poverty and incarceration," stated Paul. The REDEEM Act is focused on providing pathways to employment for people charged with non-violent offenses upon return to their community after incarceration. According to Booker’s office, there are five main provisions of the REDEEM Act: