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What Thought Leaders Are Saying About the FIRST STEP Act 

Dec 7, 2018 by AFP

Senators have the chance to give deserving formerly incarcerated individuals a second chance at life. If they pass the FIRST STEP Act this year, it will help reform our broken criminal justice policies and increase safety in our communities across the country.

Many lawmakers and other thought leaders have voiced strong support for this legislation. Here’s what they’re saying:

President Donald Trump

“Our whole nation benefits if former inmates are able to reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens.”

-President Donald Trump, calling on Congress to pass the FIRST STEP Act.

 Sen. Lindsey Graham

“Very excited to have President [Donald Trump’s] support for the FIRST STEP Act. This bipartisan legislation gives nonviolent offenders an earned second chance and should dramatically reduce the recidivism rate by focusing on skills necessary for people to stay out of prison.”

– Sen. Lindsey Graham, applauding President Trump for his support of the bill, in a tweet.

Sen. Mike Lee

“But my time as a prosecutor also tells me that not every criminal is dangerous or incapable of living a productive life. My faith as a Christian teaches me that many people are capable of redemption. And my instincts as a conservative make me believe that the government can be reformed to work better. For those reasons, I believe the FIRST STEP Act is legislation that deserves the support of all conservatives.”

-Sen. Lee in a recent op-ed, published by National Review.

Sen. Chuck Grassley

“The First Step Act would enact historic reforms that are aimed at restoring fairness for all Americans. This landmark legislation restores fairness in sentencing by ensuring that penalties fit their crimes; gives low-level, non-violent offenders a better chance to turn over a new leaf upon release from prison; and ultimately, reduces crime and make our streets and neighborhoods safer. It allows law enforcement to focus resources on the most serious offenders and helps put an end to the rinse and repeat cycle of recidivism.”

-Sen. Chuck Grassley in a recent Q&A.

Sen. Rand Paul

“The FIRST STEP Act is a chance to build on the responsible use of government power, tight-knit communities, a vibrant civil society, strong families, and personal responsibility,” Sen. Rand Paul tweeted. He also voiced support for passing the legislation quickly.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

“The United States now spends $80 billion a year on a system in which half of the people complete their prison sentence and commit more crimes. Wouldn’t it be better if they got out of prison and never went back because they are leading law-abiding, productive lives?”

-Newt Gingrich in a recent op-ed, published by The Washington Post.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

“Redemption is at the heart of the American Idea, and that’s what this is about. Creating a smoother path for those who have been incarcerated to successfully reenter and contribute to society is a worthwhile goal and one we have long been working toward.”

-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in a recent statement.

Michelle Malkin

“Known as the ‘First Step Act,’ the legislation confronts the Titanic failure of the federal government’s trillion-dollar war on drugs by reforming mandatory minimum sentences, rectifying unscientifically grounded disparities in criminal penalties for crack vs. powder cocaine users, and tackling recidivism among federal inmates through risk assessment, earned-time credit incentive structures, re-entry programs and transitional housing.”

-Michelle Malkin in a recent op-ed, published by RealClearPolitics.

Fraternal Order of Police

“By individually targeting those offenders with the lowest risk to offend, law enforcement and correctional officers can better focus their resources. The FOP played a key role in making sure that truly dangerous offenders, like those who commit crimes while armed and those who traffic in deadly narcots like fentanyl, are ineligible to participate in the First Step program.”

-Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, in a recent statement.

Your voice can make a difference too! Take 30 seconds to tell your senator to support the FIRST STEP Act!