Late Thursday afternoon President Trump urged a group of bipartisan Senators at the White House to pass a major criminal justice reform bill known as the FIRST Step Act. The legislation hopes to give inmates released from prison a second chance at life by providing jobs training skills, with a goal of helping them successfully reenter society.
The FIRST Step Act was overwhelmingly passed in the House earlier this year 360–59. Here are some more details, courtesy of the White House:
-Nearly all incarcerated Americans will one day leave prison, and the goal of this legislation is to make sure they do not return.
-The FIRST STEP Act uses a targeted approach toward a specific population of Federal prisoners who will eventually be released.
-The FIRST STEP Act will promote prisoner participation in vocational training, educational coursework, or faith-based programs, and in turn help them successfully reenter society.
-Prisoners will be able to earn credits that reduce the amount of time spent in prison.
-As a result, prisoners will gain job skills, drug treatment, and education that prepare them to reenter American communities as productive members of society.
-The legislation also seeks to place Federal inmates closer to their communities in order to facilitate family visitation.
President Trump has received praise from a number of Republicans for his support of the legislation.
Bipartisan First Step Act is biggest criminal justice reform in a generation. Pres Trump waiting w pen to sign. I invite all senators to cosponsor Don’t stand at sidelines. Let’s make history #realhistorychannel— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) November 15, 2018
President Trump has always been a strong voice for tough on crime policies, and his endorsement of bipartisan criminal justice reform is a huge win for the American people.— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) November 14, 2018
Some of his usually harsh critics, including CNN's Van Jones, are also giving him credit.
Give the man his due: @realDonaldTrump is on his way to becoming the uniter-in-Chief on an issue that has divided America for generations. Congrats to everyone on both sides who fought for this. #FIRSTSTEPact #CriminalJusticeSummit #CriminalJusticeReform #justicereform #Trump https://t.co/G9kI1C3gXy— Van Jones (@VanJones68) November 14, 2018
Full clip here: "There are 200,000 people behind bars. They have no hope, no help. We haven't passed a bill to help them in almost two generations. This is something both parties can take some credit for it. I hope we will give this thing a chance to pass." #FirstStepAct @cut_50 pic.twitter.com/yNyF6Ms8gB— Van Jones (@VanJones68) November 15, 2018
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to bring the legislation to the Senate floor in the coming weeks for a vote.