Congress Takes Historic Vote on Criminal Justice Reform Legislation

Syrita Bowen News, Press

U.S. House of Representatives Approves the FIRST STEP Act by a Vote of 360-59

WASHINGTON D.C. — For the first time in years, the U.S. House of Representatives approved bipartisan, prison-reform legislation—H.R. 5682, the FIRST STEP Act. Holly Harris, executive director of the Justice Action Network, issued the following statement on the bill’s passage:

“Bipartisan victories in Washington are incredibly rare, and today’s overwhelming House vote proves criminal justice reform is still the one issue that can bring the right and the left together. And while this bill will not fix all that is broken with our justice system, it is a first step toward safely reducing our unsustainable federal prison population, and providing a path to second chances for thousands of people serving time behind bars. This bill was the product of a months-long negotiation in which members of both parties made important contributions and achieved significant wins, and Reps. Doug Collins and Hakeem Jeffries deserve enormous credit for breaking through political barriers and putting the American people first.

“Our focus now shifts to the Senate, where we will press for further expansions to the bill, such as long overdue sentencing reforms. And we urge our champions on the right and the left to start these negotiations now so we can get a bill to the President’s desk as soon as possible. With the vast majority of voters demanding these reforms, and a bipartisan House vote coming close to a mandate, failure is not an option.”

Visit here for a summary of the key provisions of the FIRST STEP Act.
Visit here for the Justice Action Network’s statement on the House Judiciary Committee mark-up.

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