The division within America has not been this bad since the Civil War. At the center of this division and destruction, is a nationwide systemic discrepancy that has existed for decades. And it finally erupted. We are witnessing violent protests, assaults, rioting, looting, and criminal damage to properties that continue to plague Democrat-run cities. At the tip of this iceberg is the reckoning of criminal justice reform.
In an ideal world, criminal justice is the delivery of justice to those who have gotten away with committing crimes. But there is much more to it than that. Our criminal justice system consists of a series of government agencies and institutions that aim to rehabilitate offenders, reduce recidivism, provide moral support for victims, and re-entry. As we can see, it has been easier said than done.
In 2018, President Trump championed the First Step Act, delivering the most significant reform of our justice system in years. I was grateful and honored to be a part of it. The First Step Act took the task to outdated, failed policies that were long overdue, specifically pertaining to communities of color. The sentencing policy changes of Joe Biden’s “94 crime bill” era resulted in the dramatic increase of mass incarceration of Black Americans. Today, there are thousands of people still incarcerated serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses because of “Three Strikes You’re Out.” Not only did the First Step Act eliminate the “three strikes” life sentencing, but it also gave sentence reductions, brought prisoners closer to their families, and activated compassionate release.
Criminal justice reform permeates into public safety. Public safety is fundamental to a functioning society. The First Step Act is successfully returning citizens into society by expanding access to rehabilitative programs. President Trump and his Administration have worked with companies to promote second-chance hiring. In 2019, through a non-profit I founded, American King Foundation, we helped to create 4,000 jobs for returning citizens that were released that year with a partnership through Alaska Seafoods.
I also assisted President Trump and his administration through my own story to make it illegal for pregnant incarcerated women to be chained during childbirth.
I stand as one of the purest testimonies of criminal justice reformed. President Trump is a firm believer of second chances as he pardoned me this year to live out the full American Dream.
Through my own personal experience, I can say this administration is delivering results. Democrats cannot fathom how criminal justice issue reform was embraced by Republican majorities. Thanks to President Trump championing this historic reform formerly incarcerated Americans have been given hope for a brighter future.
Angela Stanton-King is a best-selling author and founder of the American King Foundation. She is currently Georgia's 5th congressional district candidate.