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AFP Thanks Senators Alexander, Corker for Helping Pass First Step Act

Dec 19, 2018 by AFP

Grassroots group applauds passage of monumental criminal justice reform bill

NASHVILLE, TN – Today, Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) celebrated the passage of the FIRST STEP Act, a package of critical criminal justice reforms. AFP-TN also praised Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker for supporting the monumental bill. Americans for Prosperity has been at the forefront of supporting the FIRST STEP Act. Earlier this year, the grassroots group issued a Key Vote Alert calling on Representatives to vote ‘YES’ on the legislation.

The FIRST STEP Act makes critical updates to our federal sentencing laws and improves federal prisons by focusing on rehabilitating incarcerated people and giving them the tools needed to successfully reenter society upon release from prison.

AFP-Tennessee State Director Tori Venable issued the following statement:

“The First Step Act is a great gift this holiday season that will bring families closer together and create a real second chance for thousands of Americans who have earned one. We thank Senators Alexander and Corker for supporting this legislation that will make our communities stronger and safer by reducing crime and giving people the skills they need to become productive members of society. This bill will help men and women leave prison better off than when they entered and makes our criminal justice policies smarter on crime and softer on taxpayers. We urge the House to take this opportunity to break down barriers for people by putting good policy over partisanship and quickly send this to the president for his signature.”

Background:

  • President Trump, senators from both parties, and major law enforcement groups like the Fraternal Order of Police all endorsed the FIRST STEP Act last week.
  • The House of Representatives passed the FIRST STEP Act earlier this year.
  • Freedom Partners recently released a national poll showing that over 80 percent of voters approve of the FIRST STEP Act.
  • 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 2010.
  • 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.