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AFP Thanks Senators Shaheen, Hassan for Helping Pass First Step Act

Dec 19, 2018 by AFP

Grassroots group applauds passage of monumental criminal justice reform bill

CONCORD, NH – Today, Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire (AFP-NH) celebrated the passage of the FIRST STEP Act, a package of critical criminal justice reforms. AFP-NH also praised Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan 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 sentencing and prison 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-New Hampshire State Director Greg Moore issued the following statement:

“Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped deliver a great gift for Americans this Christmas season by helping pass the First Step Act. This bipartisan legislation is a welcome change from the cycle of partisan politics and is based on common-sense, evidence-tested measures that will improve public safety and give people a second chance to become contributing members of their communities.

“Not only does shifting towards a smart-on-crime, soft-on-taxpayers approach save money and reduce recidivism, but it reaffirms the principle that our criminal justice system is redemptive and treats every American equally under the law. We urge the House to swiftly vote on the First Step Act and send it to the White House for the president’s 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.