24 August, 2018 6:51 AM

Statement On Status of the FIRST STEP Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 24, 2018
CONTACT: Alex Gudich | 415-240-2016 | alex@cut50.org

#cut50’s Statement On Status of the FIRST STEP Act

Washington D.C-- “The result from yesterday’s meetings with McConnell and the President are a huge step forward for reform efforts,” said Jessica Jackson Sloan, national director of #cut50.  “The FIRST STEP Act has already overwhelmingly passed the House. And now, we have a commitment from Senate Majority Leader McConnell for a vote. President Trump has endorsed prison reform and is willing to craft a compromise on sentencing. We are closer than we have been in nearly a decade to passing robust federal legislation on this issue. While we hoped there would be a vote before the midterms, our bipartisan coalition will continue to push forward.”

“For too long, we have TALKED about legislation in Congress without actually getting ANYTHING done. The FIRST STEP Act would bring urgently needed reforms. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it would reduce the prison population by 32,000 over 10 years - a nearly 20% decline. There is also an incredible opportunity to scale back on the harshest and most unfair punishments at the federal level. People in prison, their families, and the entire criminal justice reform movement will be much better served by getting this done as soon as possible.”

“It took both parties 30 years to get us into this mess we call mass incarceration. It will take leadership from both parties and a concerted effort in Congress, passing many bills over many sessions, to get us out of it. A quick look at at any state that has significantly reduced incarceration while decreasing crime will confirm that. Let’s put some points on the board and come back for more next year. ”

 

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Jessica Jackson Sloan is the co-founder national director of #cut50. Her first husband was sent to prison for a low-level drug-related offense. She turned her pain into purpose and now fights to reform the system that destroyed her family and too many others’.

#cut50 works to cut crime and incarceration in all 50 states. The organization brings together unlikely allies—formerly and currently incarcerated individuals, community members, crime survivors, local elected officials, and law enforcement--to keep communities safe and families together.


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