First Step Act Passes House

After passage in the Senate last week, the First Step Act was passed by the House with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle.

We can be smart and tough on crime at the same time.  A number of provisions in the First Step Act mirror many of the same reforms the Texas legislature has implemented at the state level, which has a proven record of saving tax dollars, reducing crime rates, and lowering Texas’ incarceration rate. “This is no “get out of jail free card,” but a chance for inmates to utilize meaningful employment and training opportunities, and other evidence-based programs to help reduce recidivism. This is a win for the inmates, their families, the taxpayers and our communities. I applaud President Trump and his Administration for making this a priority.

The First Step Act requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to construct an individualized risk-and-needs assessment for every offender upon being sentenced. Subsequently, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) would offer inmates a tailor-made recidivism reduction plan, which could include resources such as mental health care, anger-management courses, vocational training and other resources. If these programs are successfully completed, low and minimum risk prisoners will begin to earn time credits for pre-release custody.


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