House Judiciary Committee: What They’re Saying About The First Step Act

Washington, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee recently approved bipartisan prison reform legislation, the First Step Act (H.R. 5682). This bill, sponsored by Representatives Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), improves the federal prison system, provides educational and vocational training to inmates so they can successfully reenter society once released, and enhances public safety. The First Step Act has garnered widespread support. Here are what some are saying about this bipartisan bill.

“Federal prisons should provide opportunities for men and women behind bars to make amends and earn back the public’s trust … This legislation will allow men and women in our federal prisons to return home sooner and better prepared to give back to their families and communities at their highest potential … We believe these changes will improve the effectiveness of our prisons and public safety.”
– Aleph Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, Association of Gospel Rescue Missions, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Bridges to Life, Christian Community Development Association, Commonwealth Foundation, Correctional Ministries & Chaplains Association, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Douglass Leadership Institute, Due Process Institute, Faith & Freedom Coalition, Florida Tax Watch, Heritage Action, Institute for Prison Ministries, James Madison Institute, Louisiana Family Forum, Mississippi Center for Public Policy, National Association of Evangelicals, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, National Latino Evangelical Coalition, Pegasus Institute, Prison Fellowship, R Street Institute, Rio Grande Foundation, Soteria Community Development Association, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Right on Crime

“We support this legislation because it incentivizes programming that will help inmates stay on the right path after they are released from prison. We believe that inmates should have access to evidence-based programs that give them the opportunity to earn time credits and be better-prepared when they are released.”
– Council of State Governments Justice Center

“The bill promotes public safety and gives people in prison access to the transformational programming they need to earn back the public’s trust and to return home as good spouses, parents and neighbors. We applaud the thoughtful deliberations resulting in this important reform legislation.”
– Faith & Freedom Coalition

“H.R. 5682 will give the Department of Justice and Bureau of Prisons new tools to more effectively manage the prison population, make informed release decisions and reduce recidivism, which will increase public safety and security … We urge Congress to pass this legislation because it is good for federal law enforcement and public safety.”
– Former Federal Prosecutors, including former Attorney General Michael Mukasey

“The First Step Act will advance efforts to reform our criminal justice system by improving conditions inside U.S. federal prisons, including through meaningful rehabilitation programs … Our support for the First Step Act is based on our extensive work with current and former prisoners, who regularly tell us that the lack of adequate rehabilitation programs serve as a barrier to their reintegration into society … The First Step Act will get us on the path to the true reform that we so badly need.”
– Just Detention International

Read this article on the House Judiciary Committee’s website.

Jonathan Haggerty