First Step Act Would Usher In Biggest Federal Criminal Justice Reform in Decades

Washington, DC — Today, the U.S. Senate passed the First Step Act by a vote of 87 to 12. The bill is the most comprehensive criminal justice reform package of the last three decades. The First Step Act provides reentry programming to help reduce recidivism, includes modest sentencing reforms, increases public safety and gives those incarcerated a second chance once they have paid their debt to society. The bill as passed is the result of bipartisan and bicameral cooperation and has the support of law enforcement, the faith community, and businesses. The legislation overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives on May 22 and the Senate version of the bill will now return to the House for final passage.

Right on Crime Signatories, former Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, issued the following statements:

“This legislation is an historic step forward for justice and redemption in the federal criminal justice system. Building on what has proven successful in states such as Texas, South Carolina, and Georgia, these common-sense reforms will improve public safety by reducing recidivism and provide a second chance to those who have served their time and who want to live law-abiding, productive lives,” said Right on Crime Signatory and former Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli.

“America is a land of second chances where people can earn redemption and achieve restoration. Under the leadership of President Trump and a remarkable coalition of people from all walks of life, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to uphold and restore these core American values to our federal prison system. Ninety-five percent of prisoners will eventually be released and the First Step Act will assist them to use their time in prison to gain the tools they need to turn their lives around and create a better future for themselves and their families. When this bill is signed into law, we can expect to see a reduction in crime, a reduction in recidivism rates, and a new lease on life for those who have served their time,” said Right on Crime Signatory and former New York City Policy Commissioner Bernie Kerik.

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 schedule an interview with Right on Crime spokespersons, please contact Kevin McVicker at (703) 739-5920 or [email protected]