May 10, 2018

Congress Takes Significant FIRST STEP Toward Safer Communities and Second Chances By Advancing Prison Reform Bill

Post by Freedom Partners

House Judiciary Committee lawmakers took an important step towards addressing our nation’s recidivism crisis. With over 75 percent of individuals released from prison likely to reoffend within five years, it’s time to address this revolving door in our criminal justice system.

High recidivism rates have a human cost. They mean more victims, broken families, American communities are less safe, a continued burden on American taxpayers, and more formerly-incarcerated individuals who never get a true second chance to reach their full potential. Thankfully, however, Congress has a chance to reverse this cycle.

We applaud the members of the House Judiciary Committee who are fighting for reform in our nation’s prisons by advancing the FIRST STEP Act. This bipartisan bill would create new, evidence-based risk and needs assessment tools to be used periodically to prepare incarcerated individuals to reenter their communities as law-abiding individuals.

Now is the time for House leadership to bring this bill to the floor as quickly as possible. With broad, bipartisan support in Congress and the Trump administration’s backing for this desperately needed prison reform, lawmakers must work together in good faith to take this leap forward. Voting for the FIRST STEP Act is a vote to improve the safety of our communities, save billions in taxpayer dollars, and unlock doors for individuals who have paid their debt to society and are hungry for a second chance.