Grassley hails criminal justice bill's passing

Arturo Kim
December 22, 2018

"While this one bill is certainly no panacea for all the different issues, it gives us a platform where people at the state, local or federal level can problem solve together in a bipartisan manner", she states. In a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, Grassley says the bill will give an untold number of Americans renewed hope this Christmas season that "their father, mother, son or daughter" will soon have a chance to redeem themselves.

"The FIRST STEP Act is not the end". The U.S. has often been described as the world's most incarcerated country.

The House is expected to vote on the Senate's iteration of the bill at a later time.

The ERLC and Prison Fellowship collaborated for auxiliary events regarding justice reform this fall at Baptist state conventions in Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The bill - which models state reforms - provides training to help inmates prepare for reentry into society, establishes risk assessment procedures for prisoners and enables low- and minimum-risk prisoners to earn time credits so they can potentially serve 12 months or less of their sentences in pre-release custody.

The company mentioned the FIRST STEP Act in several of its lobbying disclosure forms and said it does not advocate for or against criminal justice policy "related to criminalizing certain behaviors or determining the length of criminal sentences", instead focusing on promoting rehabilitation programs.

Paul Ryan has expressed his support for the bill, tweeting how the "House looks forward to sending it to the president to become law".

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Why does US still have'debtors prisons
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Why does US still have'debtors prisons

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) also praised members of the weekly bipartisan Senate prayer breakfast.

It's one of the biggest changes to our criminal justice system in a generation. "At that point I was concerned if I was going to live, because I'm bleeding out and these people don't know even what to do with me".

The Senate turned back three amendments Tuesday from Republican senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and John Kennedy of Louisiana, who said the bill endangered public safety.

It also incentivizes prisoners to participate in programs created to reduce the risk of recidivism, with the reward being an earlier release to either home confinement or a halfway house to complete their sentence. The nation's federal prison population has soared by more than 700 percent since the 1980s. The credits are deducted from a sentence to allow for early release.

"This bill is only targeted toward those that are least violent", he said.

It will lead to safer communities and redeemed lives by giving judges more discretion to impose appropriate sentences for low-level, non-violent offenders... For example, the Koch brothers-backed group, Americans for Prosperity, applauded senators for putting "policy ahead of politics". It's the last step before making it into law. "Given the complexities Alaska is facing with criminal justice reform, collectively known as SB91 in Alaska, along with skyrocketing crime rates and an evolving opioid and drug crisis, I can not ignore the harsh realities Alaskans are facing by voting to reduce prison time for offenders who are compounding this crisis".

The compromise bill was supported by a wide coalition of conservative, evangelical, liberal, and criminal justice groups, but it was criticized from the "tough on crime" right-a "jailbreak" said Sen.

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