Factbox: Criminal justice reform bills stalled in U.S. Congress

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama is making a push this week to reform the U.S. criminal justice system, a priority he has laid out for his final year and a half in office. The drum beat for such reforms has grown as U.S. crime rates have drastically declined over the past two decades. Lengthy prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders are increasingly seen as racially imbalanced and disproportionate to the crimes. Wide-ranging political interests agree on the issue: Conservatives like the Koch brothers and Senator Rand Paul have backed some of the same reforms as the White House. But legislative solutions have stalled in Congress. Policy advocates blame the busy legislative calendar, the upcoming presidential election and some resistance among older legislators who entered politics when it was popular to be "tough on crime." Here's a look at where criminal justice reform bills stand in Congress. The Smarter Sentencing Act: Sponsored by Senator Mike Lee, a Republican and Tea Party favorite, and Senator Richard Durbin, a long-serving Democrat, the bill aims to abolish mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders. It was passed out of the Judiciary Committee in 2014, but Senate majority leader Harry Reid did not bring the bill to the Senate floor for a full vote. It has since been reintroduced in the new Congress but has not passed the committee. The White House and libertarian Senator Rand Paul have endorsed the bill. CORRECTIONS Act: A prison reform bill introduced by Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat, that would allow some prisoners to reduce their sentences by 25 percent through participating in programs, like prison jobs, while incarcerated. The bill was approved by the Judiciary Committee by a 15-2 vote in March but has yet to be taken up by the full Senate. The SAFE Justice Act: Recently introduced by Republican Representative Jim Sensenbrenner and Democratic Representative Bobby Scott, the SAFE Justice Act combines many aspects of criminal justice reform into one bill. If passed into law, mandatory minimum sentences would be reserved for leaders of drug trafficking organizations rather than low-level offenders. It would also allow prisoners to earn time off their sentences by participating in programs. The bill has not yet been considered by the House Judiciary Committee. House panel: The House Judiciary Committee is currently seeking ideas for other criminal justice bills it may consider from any members who wish to submit. (Reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Leslie Adler)