Jun 15, 2018

Senator Durbin Should Take FIRST STEP Towards Prison Reform

Post by Freedom Partners

Criminal justice reform is listed as a top issue for Senator Dick Durbin. He has promised his constituents that he is “working hard to make critical reforms to our criminal justice system.”

Sen. Durbin has also stated that the federal government should “provide services that support previously incarcerated young people and adults and help them reintegrate back into society.”

“It is critical that the federal government support these programs, which have helped many get back on their feet, find jobs, and become productive members of the community after incarceration,” Durbin previously said.

Right now, Senator Durbin has a chance to make this reality by passing prison reform legislation known as The FIRST STEP Act. This bill is the first of hopefully many reforms that move our country toward a fairer and more sensible system.

The bipartisan legislation is aimed at ending the revolving door of recidivism by rehabilitating inmates and equipping them with the tools and training they need to successfully reintegrate into our communities, has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly. Now it is Senator Durbin and his Senate colleague’s turn to support reforming our nation’s prisons, improving public safety, and extending second chances to those who have served their time.

By using evidence-based risk and needs assessment tools, the bill will provide job training, treatment, education and other programming that will help incarcerated individuals return as productive and law-abiding members of society. This approach has already been demonstrated to work in a handful of states that have enacted similar reforms. States that have implemented these programs have experienced a drop in crime and incarceration, a lower likelihood of recidivism, and have saved billions in taxpayer dollars.

Most importantly, this bill is focused on rebuilding lives. Right now, there are nearly 5,000 individuals serving time inside one of Illinois’ five federal prisons. Several of Senator Durbin’s constituents likely have friends or family members who are incarcerated and hungry for a second chance. This bill will help incarcerated individuals return to their families with the tools they need to succeed.

We strongly encourage Senate Durbin and his colleagues to make a floor vote possible without delay. President Trump has already announced he is ready to sign the bill when it reaches his desk. Durbin should seize this opportunity to unite and pass bipartisan legislation that will make our neighborhoods safer and help hundreds of thousands of Americans rebuild their lives and reunite with their families.

Tell Senator Durbin To Support Prison Reform

Send a message to Senator Durbin urging him to support safer communities and second chances by advancing the FIRST STEP Act.

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