CALLING FOR BIPARTISAN ACTION: President Donald J. Trump is calling on Congress to take action and support the bipartisan prison reform legislation, the FIRST STEP Act.
- President Trump supports the FIRST STEP Act, which will help improve our Nation’s criminal justice system.
- The FIRST STEP Act enjoys widespread support across the political spectrum.
- Many of the reforms included in this legislation passed the House in an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 360–59 in May 2018.
- Republicans and Democrats in the Senate worked with the White House to craft a bipartisan sentencing reform compromise, which has been added to the legislation.
- So far, seven major police organizations, more than 2,700 faith and evangelical leaders, and hundreds of conservative organizations and leaders support this legislation.
MAKING AMERICA SAFER AND FAIRER: The FIRST STEP Act will reform America’s prisons to make our communities safer and our justice system fairer.
- Nearly all incarcerated Americans will one day leave prison, and the goal of this legislation is to make sure they do not return.
- The FIRST STEP Act uses a targeted approach toward a specific population of Federal prisoners who will eventually be released.
- The FIRST STEP Act will promote prisoner participation in vocational training, educational coursework, or faith-based programs, and in turn help them successfully reenter society.
- Prisoners will be able to earn credits that reduce the amount of time spent in prison.
- As a result, prisoners will gain job skills, drug treatment, and education that prepare them to reenter American communities as productive members of society.
- The legislation also seeks to place Federal inmates closer to their communities in order to facilitate family visitation.
- This is a true first step in creating a fairer justice system by reforming mandatory minimums, which have created racially discriminatory outcomes and increased overcrowding and costs.
- The legislation reduces the enhanced penalties for certain non-violent repeat drug offenders and eliminates the three-strike mandatory life provision.
- Certain nonviolent offenders will be able to petition courts for a review of their sentence, which can be reduced only after the judge reviews all circumstances, including public safety, criminal history, and the nature of the offense.
IMPROVING THE PRISON SYSTEM: Taking steps to better prepare inmates for reentry into our society and communities will help reduce recidivism.
- We can improve society for all by better equipping prisoners being released for successful reintegration into society.
- Today, one in three American adults has some type of criminal record and more than two million Americans are in prisons, including 181,000 in Federal prison.
- More than 95% of these prisoners will eventually leave prison and face the challenge of restarting and reintegrating their lives.
- Our prisons can do much more to prepare inmates for release, addressing the fact that roughly 77% of State inmates and 38% of Federal inmates are rearrested within five years of release.