Washington, DC — Today, President Donald J. Trump expressed his support for the seminal prison reform legislation, the First Step Act. If passed, it would increase public safety, provide reentry programming to help reduce recidivism, and give those incarcerated a second chance once they have paid their debt to society. The President’s support included the modest sentencing reforms proposed by the Senate. The legislation overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives in May with a vote of 360-59, and is expected to be considered by the Senate in the coming days.

“I applaud President Trump for joining so many conservative and law enforcement groups in backing the First Step Act, which will improve public safety while also providing more opportunities for rehabilitation within the federal prison system,” said Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City Police and Correction commissioner, and Right on Crime Signatory. “The recent additions to the legislation further strengthen the Act by ensuring sentences fit the crime. I urge the Senate to act quickly on the First Step Act and the House to follow its initial overwhelmingly favorable vote by ratifying the changes made in the Senate. Undoubtedly, once it is finalized, the First Step Act will stand as yet another landmark accomplishment for a group of Americans who too often have been forgotten.”


“President Trump’s embrace of the First Step Act represents a culmination of our work since 2005 with Texas policymakers that has led to 30% drop in crime and the closure of eight prisons,” said Marc Levin, Vice President of Criminal Justice Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “In light of the success that Texas, South Carolina, Georgia and many other states, especially conservative ones, have had in proving that it is possible to reduce both crime and incarceration, the First Step Act is not a case of experimenting with an untested approach, but rather draws upon a proven track record of what works. It continues to be a tremendous privilege to work closely with congressional leaders and White House officials like Jared Kushner who share our commitment to strengthening public safety and providing second chances so many of those who have made mistakes can turn their lives around. Together, we will get the First Step Act across the finish line, resulting in a historic accomplishment that all Americans can be proud of.”

Right on Crime is a national campaign of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in partnership with the American Conservative Union Foundation and Prison Fellowship that supports conservative solutions for reducing crime, restoring victims, reforming offenders, and lowering taxpayer costs.

The movement was born in Texas in 2005, and in recent years, dozens of states such as Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, have led the way in implementing conservative criminal justice reforms.

Right on Crime has the support and works to mobilize the voices of more than 90 prominent conservative leaders who have endorsed the principles of conservative criminal justice reform, including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, former U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.

To obtain a copy of the letter or to schedule an interview with Right on Crime spokespersons, please contact Kevin McVicker at (703) 739-5920 or [email protected]