FAIR CHANCE ACT BECOMES FEDERAL LAW ONE YEAR AFTER PASSAGE OF GROUNDBREAKING FIRST STEP ACT

Syrita Bowen News, Press

President Trump signs the Fair Chance Act, one of the final criminal justice reform priorities of the late Congressman Elijah Cummings 

Justice Action Network President & Executive Director Holly Harris released the following statement after the Fair Chance Act is signed into law: 

“The President’s signature on the Fair Chance Act this holiday season is a gift to the tens of millions of Americans living with the stigma of a criminal record, many of whom have a hard time finding work,” said Justice Action Network President and Executive Director Holly Harris. “Tonight’s bill signing comes one year to the day that the House passed the First Step Act, which freed thousands of people from federal prison who just want to move on with their lives, but face barriers to education, housing and employment. The Fair Chance Act is the next step to opening more opportunities—specifically, federal government service and contracting jobs—to people who have made mistakes, but just need a fair chance to turn their lives around.

“This victory would not have been possible without the tireless advocacy of Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). And tonight we are especially grateful for the leadership of the late Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), whose legacy will live on through the second chances afforded by his legislation. We thank President Trump for signing this bill into law, and we urge him to be vigilant about ensuring all federal job applicants are judged first on their skills and qualifications, and that people who have made mistakes have a fair chance to compete. And we look forward to continuing our work with the President and leaders on both sides of the aisle on reforms that make our justice system fairer and more effective, and our communities safer.”