Image sourced from Donald Trump's Twitter
Image sourced from Donald Trump's Twitter

US prison reforms: Trump backs FIRST STEP Act, urges Congress' support

ANI | Updated: Nov 15, 2018 07:13 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Nov 15 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump announced his support for the FIRST STEP Act, a bipartisan agreement for prison reform, at the White House on Wednesday (EST).
"Today, I'm thrilled to announce my support for this bipartisan bill that will make our communities safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time. So important," Trump remarked at White House's Roosevelt Room.
Urging the Congress to pass the prison reform bill, Trump stated, "I urge lawmakers in both the House and Senate to work hard and to act quickly and send a final bill to my desk. And I look very much forward to signing it. This is a big breakthrough for a lot of people. They've been talking about this for many, many years."
"We're all better off when former inmates can receive and reenter society as law-abiding, productive citizens. And thanks to our booming economy, they now have a chance at more opportunities than they've ever had before. It is true. Our economy is so strong, that when people are getting out of jail, they're actually able to find jobs," the US President said while sharing that the American job market is at its best in over 50 years.
Underscoring significant reforms in the legislation, Trump said, "First, it will provide new incentives for low-risk inmates to learn the skills they need to find employment, avoid old habits, and follow the law when they are released from prison. These incentives will encourage them to participate in vocational training, educational coursework, and faith-based programs that reduce their chances of recidivism, and, in other words, reduce their chances of going back to prison substantially."
"Second, this legislation will allow federal inmates to be placed closer to their home communities in order to help facilitate family visitation - so important - because we know that maintaining family and community ties is key to successful reentry into our society," Trump highlighted.
"Third, the bill includes reasonable sentencing reforms while keeping dangerous and violent criminals off our streets. In many respects, we're getting very much tougher on the truly bad criminals - of which, unfortunately, there are many. But we're treating people differently for different crimes. Some people got caught up in situations that were very bad," the US President mentioned while citing the example of former inmate Alice Johnson.
Trump further stated that he had rolled back some of the provisions of crime laws from Bill Clinton's time that harmed the African-American community.
He also shed light on the fact that seven major police organisations have fully endorsed the bill, including the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Police Chiefs.
"Americans from across the political spectrum can unite around prison reform legislation that will reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption. So if something happens and they make a mistake, they get a second chance at life," he said.
"Today's announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible. And maybe it'll be thriving if we're going to get something done. When Republicans and Democrats talk, debate, and seek common ground, we can achieve breakthroughs that move our country forward and deliver for our citizens. And that's what we're doing today. And I have great respect for the people standing alongside me," Trump stated while calling on the Congress to pass the bill. (ANI)

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