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U.S. Senate Passes Faith & Freedom Coalition Legislative Priority

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate passed one of the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s top legislative priorities—the “First Step Act” to reform the federal prison system. The legislation now heads back to the U.S. House of Representatives for final approval and President Trump is expected to sign the First Step Act into law before the 115th Congress adjourns.

The First Step Act will promote public safety by implementing a risk assessment system within the federal Bureau of Prisons for low-level, non-violent offenders eligible for release, and provide federal prisoners with programming that has proven to help them successfully re-enter society upon their release. 

“The years of hard work by the faith community to achieve lasting reform of our federal justice system to make our communities safer has now cleared its last major obstacle before becoming law,” said Executive Director Tim Head. “The First Step Act will provide 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.” 

Faith & Freedom Coalition has made federal prison reform one of its top legislative priorities and with support from President Trump and a bipartisan group of leaders in Congress, the First Step Act will provide 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. 

“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 valued, contributing members of society,” said Faith & Freedom Director of Legislative Affairs Patrick Purtill. “We have been working alongside a bipartisan group of reform minded members of Congress, justice reform advocates, and the Trump administration to pass meaningful reform of our federal prison system to increase public safety, and this legislation does just that.”

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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