President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he is supporting a bipartisan prison reform bill that would change sentencing laws in the country, HuffPost reports.
Trump said that the First Step Act would “make our communities safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time.”
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and his senior adviser, has reportedly been advocating for the bill, which according to the president “includes reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping dangerous and violent criminals off the street.”
The bill would roll back federal policies that have traditionally impacted Black inmates, writes the New York Times.
“We’re all better off when former inmates can receiver and re-enter society as law-abiding, productive citizens,” said Trump at the White House.
Pres. Trump on criminal justice reform: "I'm thrilled to announce my support for this bipartisan bill that will make our community safer, and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time." pic.twitter.com/31SN1va5Cq
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 14, 2018
The First Step Act would help inmates with job opportunities and provide them access to rehabilitation programs and more, per HuffPost.
In May, The House of Representatives passed a version of the bill. Provisions were later added over the summer by a bipartisan group of senators that lowered the mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes and eliminated life sentencing from the “three strikes” penalty in favor of a 35-year sentence, per the report.
The criminal justice reform bill, which has received support from “the American Civil Liberties Union, the Fraternal Order of Police and the conservative billionaire Koch brothers,” writes HuffPost.
Celebrities have spoken recently about getting legislation to help reform the criminal justice system.
Kim Kardashian West met with Trump a few times this year to discuss prison reform. Her efforts helped get Alice Marie Johnson, a Black great-grandmother who was serving life in prison for a nonviolent drug conviction, commuted by Trump.
“I urge lawmakers in both the House and Senate to work hard and to act quickly and send a final bill to my desk,” he said.
What's Your Reaction?
Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.