Congresswoman Johnson Applauds Passage of First Step Act
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act, or First Step Act, sending the bill to the President’s desk for his signature:
“The First Step Act represents a milestone in our quest for true criminal justice reform. This piece of legislation makes improvements to our justice system that correct current issues by allowing judges more discretion in sentencing, limiting the harsh potency of mandatory minimums, and adding $75 million in funding to prevent recidivism.
“Additionally, we were able to secure the retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act, which will make 4,000 currently imprisoned individuals eligible for early release, and this bill brings relief to sentencing disparities, which overwhelmingly affect African Americans and other minorities. These are all reasons why I joined my colleagues in voting to pass this bill out of the House today.
“While there is much more that needs to be accomplished to truly achieve the criminal justice reform we all seek, I am heartened by the good this will bring once it becomes law. It restores hope to some who felt that even what was agreed upon in this legislation was beyond reach and will stand out as a bipartisan success that weathered a difficult legislative process to passage.
“Congressional Democrats will continue our work to pass reforms that build on the progress of the First Step Act, and I remain committed to join them in this effort.”
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