Grassroots Group Declares Victory as FIRST STEP ACT Heads to President Trump’s Desk
Raleigh, NC – Today, Americans for Prosperity- North Carolina (AFP-NC) celebrated the passage of the FIRST STEP Act, a package of critical criminal justice reforms. AFP-NC also praised Senator Thom Tillis for his support for commonsense criminal justice reform. As a part of a six-figure thank you campaign in November, many constituents received direct mail thanking key legislators for their sincere support of the FIRST STEP Act. AFP-NC will continue its tradition of applauding the support of good policy by sending targeted and direct mail to North Carolinians touting Senator Tillis’ leadership in ensuring this legislation was passed before the end of the year.
The FIRST STEP Act makes important reforms to the federal criminal justice system by focusing on rehabilitating federally incarcerated people and giving them the tools needed to successfully reenter society upon release from prison.
AFP-NCstate director Chris McCoy issued the following statement:
“AFP-NC is grateful for Senator Tillis’ support of the FIRST STEP Act. This legislation will ultimately make our communities stronger and safer by reducing crime and recidivism rates. During this holiday season, many families will be relieved to learn that they will not have to travel as far to visit loved ones who are incarcerated relatives. Additionally, AFP-NC believes that criminal justice reform should be smart-on-crime, but soft-on-taxpayers and the FIRST STEP Act accomplishes that goal.”
The FIRST STEP Act requires the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to place inmates no more than 500 driving miles from home, helping spouses, parents, and children more practically visit their family members behind bars and making it easier for inmates to reintegrate into society upon release.
Fixes a mistake in federal law to ensure that all well-behaved prisoners not serving life sentences can accrue 54 days of “good time credit” off their sentences per year, instead of the 47 per year that 178,000 inmates currently receive.
Directs the BOP to let low-risk low-needs inmates serve home confinement for up to 6 months of the end of their sentences.
Retroactively applies the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the crack-cocaine sentencing disparity from 100:1 to 18:1, to current inmates sentenced before 2010s.
Expands eligibility for the federal “safety valve” (18 U.S.C. § 3553(f)) to keep more low-level drug offenders from incurring mandatory minimums meant for high-level drug traffickers, creating more proportional punishments.