The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice will host State Attorney General Kathleen Jennings as guest speaker at its town hall meeting set for 7 to 8:30 p.m. May 14 at Trinity Faith Christian Center, 15516 New Road, Lewes.

Jennings’ presentation, “Revisions of the Delaware Criminal Code,” will focus on current legislative efforts to create fairer and more equitable criminal justice and prison systems in Delaware. Proposed reforms aim at decreasing the prison population, reducing sentences and making it easier for offenders to reintegrate into society.

Jennings’ depth of experience gives her a balanced perspective on the criminal justice system. During her tenure as a state prosecutor under Attorney General Beau Biden, she supervised criminal prosecution statewide, while also working on reforming habitual offender laws, strengthening gun laws involving violent felons and creating the Child Victim Unit. Under Biden’s leadership, she developed the Crime Strategies Unit to work directly in areas with high incidences of violent crime.

While an attempt to completely overhaul the state’s criminal code was unsuccessful last year, current reform efforts come in a package of 19 separate bills. Some specific proposals are creation of a commission on sentencing guidelines, offering tax credits to employers who hire ex-convicts, consideration of an individual’s financial situation before assessing fines, broadening circumstances under which an adult can obtain expungement of criminal history and generally lessening penalties for drug offenses.

The town hall meeting format will allow ample time for questions and discussion.

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