BATON ROUGE, La. – Americans for Prosperity-Louisiana (AFP-LA) cheered House passage of the First Step Act Thursday, which will now head to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. AFP-LA also announced a digital and mail campaign specifically thanking Sen. Bill Cassidy, Rep. Steve Scalise, and Rep. Cedric Richmond for their bipartisan efforts to pass the First Step Act.
AFP-LA State Director John Kay issued the following statement:
“Many Louisiana families will have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season after passage of the First Step Act. This law will give a second chance to those who’ve earned it and will strengthen families who need their fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters to return home in better shape than when they went to prison. And by focusing on rehabilitation, we can make sure individuals reentering our communities have the tools to succeed and stay out of prison for good.
“Everyone who voted for the First Step Act in Louisiana deserves recognition, but Sen. Bill Cassidy, Rep. Steve Scalise and Rep. Cedric Richmond deserve a special acknowledgement. Through their leadership and continued advocacy for a fairer and evidence-based approach to criminal justice, Louisiana families will be better off.”
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.