The FIRST STEP Act is a bipartisan supported criminal justice reform bill that supports “back end” changes to the system by providing increased resources and incentives towards rehabilitation.
The bill encourages inmates to participate in more vocational and rehabilitative programs, by letting them get “earned time credits” that allow them to be released early to halfway houses or home confinement. The bill would also authorize more funding — $50 million a year over five years — to support vocational and rehabilitative programs.
Though this bill does not reform, reduce or eliminate mandatory minimums and only applies to inmates at federal prisons - 13% of the prison population - we believe the FIRST STEP Act is an opportunity to develop bipartisan working-relationships on criminal justice issues and create momentum within Congress and within the criminal justice reform community to push for greater and more ambitious reforms.
The centerpiece of the act is that it incentivizes and provides more opportunities for prisoners to participate in rehabilitative programming.
As Christians, we believe that redemption is at the heart of the gospel. We believe that people made in the image of God are more than the worst thing they’ve ever done, and support policies that provide opportunities for rehabilitation. Ask your Senators to support the FIRST STEP Act!