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Americans for Prosperity-Texas Thanks Senators Cruz and Cornyn for Championing Criminal Justice Reform

Dec 19, 2018 by AFP

AUSTIN, Texas – Americans for Prosperity-Texas celebrated the passage of the FIRST STEP Act, criminal justice reform legislation that will enhance public safety, provide a second chance to hundreds of thousands of people who’ve paid their debt to society, and save taxpayer dollars. The Texas grassroots group also praised Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn for their instrumental roles in ensuring this groundbreaking legislation passed before the end of the year.

“Our Senators showed compassion, grit, and heart this holiday season by getting criminal justice reform over the finish line. This legislation is a crucial first step toward breaking the cycle of incarceration, bringing families together, and creating safer communities,” said Jerome Greener, AFP-TX State Director. “Senators Cruz and Cornyn saw the reforms that have been successful here in Texas and worked with a bipartisan coalition to get them enacted nationally. We thank them for giving the gift of second chances and safe communities to all Americans this holiday season.”

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Background

  • 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.