Sep 28, 2018

WATCH: Sen. Lee Has a Message for FIRST STEP Act Skeptics

Post by Freedom Partners

When it comes to criminal justice reform, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger champion of the issue then U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

Lee, a former federal prosecutor who was elected to the Senate in 2010, recently sat down with us to discuss the FIRST STEP Act and its trajectory through Congress.
“It’s an important step towards reforming our criminal justice system,” Lee said, stressing the need to prepare inmates for life after incarceration.

WATCH: Sen. Lee: Senate Can Pass the FIRST STEP Act This Year.

Currently, the nation’s justice system focuses overwhelmingly on punishment rather than ensuring that people are corrected and rehabilitated. Given that roughly 96 percent of federal inmates will one day be released from prison and returned to our communities, the FIRST STEP Act would reform the country’s federal prisons system to focus on preparing inmates for their eventual release while they are still incarcerated. “That’s something that’s lacking in our current system,” Lee continued.

WATCH: Sen. Lee on the Need to Update Outdated and Draconian Sentencing Laws.

Earlier this year, the U.S. House passed the FIRST STEP Act by a commanding vote of 360-59. Sen. Lee told us that he believes the Senate will be able to pass the legislation and have it signed into law this year with “a few sentencing reforms added to it.” This way, he said, Congress is addressing all aspects of incarceration, from the beginning of a prison term to the end.

Learn more about the FIRST STEP Act here.