Syrita Bowen News, Press

Criminal Justice Reform Momentum Builds in Congress

(Washington, DC) – In response to the House of Representatives voting by voice vote for adoption of ‘The Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019’ as an amendment to another legislative vehicle, Holly Harris, Executive Director of the Justice Action Network, released the following statement:

“We are at a time when one in three American adults has a criminal record, and it is flatly absurd to think 70 million Americans shouldn’t have a fair chance at employment, especially in public service. This Fair Chance Act ensures that people with records applying for federal government work are not summarily dismissed before their skills and qualifications are even considered. This is a common sense policy that has already been adopted in dozens of red and blue states across the country. 

And while the procedure to move this bill is unusual, sometimes you have to get creative to get a floor vote. And we will seize any chance to open up employment opportunities to millions of Americans. We commend our great bipartisan champions Rep. Elijah Cummings and Rep. Doug Collins for putting people above partisanship, and we look forward to seeing the Fair Chance Act move out of the House, and again engaging Senate Leader Mitch McConnell on a bill that has overwhelming bipartisan support.”

The legislation enjoys strong support from major advocacy organizations from the left to the right, including the Justice Action Network, American Conservative Union, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Faith & Freedom Coalition, National Employment Law Project, FAMM, Prison Fellowship, FreedomWorks, R Street Institute, Safer Foundation, and JustLeadershipUSA. These groups, along with former U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Stan Veuger and Matthew Charles – the first man freed under the First Step Act, all signed onto a letter applauding the bipartisan leadership of Representatives Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Doug Collins (R-GA), and all members of the House of Representatives who voted for passage of the Fair Chance Act amendment. The letter can be viewed – HERE