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FAITH IN ACTION

Faith & Freedom Coalition Prison Reform Legislative Priority Passes U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly 360-59 to pass one of the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s top legislative priorities—the “First Step Act” to reform the federal prison system.

The First Step Act, sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), would promote public safety by implementing a risk assessment system within the federal Bureau of Prisons, and provide federal prisoners with programming that has proven to help them successfully re-enter society upon their release.

“We are committed to achieving lasting reform of our justice system to make our communities safer. This bill, as its name implies, is a great first step in providing ex-offenders with an opportunity to redeem themselves, find dignity and become a valued, contributing member of society,” said Faith & Freedom Coalition Executive Director Tim Head.

For the past several years, the Faith & Freedom Coalition has made federal prison reform one of its top legislative priorities and supports the efforts of President Trump and Congressional leaders to pass legislation to give former inmates, who have completed their sentences, a second chance to become contributing members of society and return home as good spouses, parents and neighbors.

Last week, momentum built toward passage of the First Step Act as the House Judiciary Committee approved the legislation with strong bipartisan support and President Donald Trump expressed his support for the bill at a White House panel to discuss the need for federal prison reform.

“We hope the U.S. Senate will soon follow the House and pass the First Step Act and send the bill to President Trump’s desk. These are much-needed reforms to the Bureau of Prisons that will provide people in federal prison with access to the transformational programming such as drug rehabilitation, skills training, and faith-based education that they need to ensure that they don’t end up back in prison,” added Head.

The First Step Act codifies that the Bureau of Prisons will utilize proven recidivism reduction programs such as drug rehabilitation, education, skills training, classes on faith, and work programs for all federal prisoners in partnership with non-profit and faith-based organizations.

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