- Press Release
- Criminal Justice
Quaker Lobby Celebrates Congressional Passage of the FIRST STEP Act
Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) praised this week’s passage of the FIRST STEP Act (S. 756) by both chambers of Congress. This bipartisan criminal justice reform bill is expected to be signed into law by the president by the end of the week.
Contact: Tim McHugh, Friends Committee on National Legislation, firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-903-2515
“Our criminal justice system is not a perpetual warehouse for our fellow citizens. Thousands currently sitting in federal prison deserve a chance to be productive members of American society,” said Diane Randall, FCNL Executive Secretary. “As a faith-based organization, we believe that consistently excluding some members of our society does not foster public safety or promote equality.”
The FIRST STEP Act includes important sentencing reform provisions that will enable thousands of Americans to return to their families and communities more quickly. Thousands of inmates could be released or see their sentences reduced once the bill goes into effect.
The bill helps ensures people are prepared to return to society with job skills designed to help them succeed after leaving prison. It makes strides toward fixing “good time” credits on top of reauthorizing the Second Chance Act which expanded state and local projects to provide reentry services to individuals and their families.
“The FIRST STEP Act is a small but positive step towards addressing mass incarceration. It brings more fairness to our criminal justice system through reducing mandatory minimum sentences and will facilitate successful citizen reentry through grants and anti-recidivism programs,” said Amelia Kegan, FCNL’s Domestic Policy Legislative Director.
“However, it’s also lacking in many ways. FCNL will continue to make sure Congress addresses its deficiencies and works toward making our criminal justice system more restorative.”
The FIRST STEP Act stands for the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act.
For more information, please visit www.fcnl.org.