Bipartisan Legislation Passed on Criminal Justice Reform

The Senate Passes Criminal Justice Reform Bill Across Party Lines

Politics today are brutal.  We are a nation polarized to its core.  Finding common ground on anything seems unlikely between the two parties.  That’s why yesterday’s announcement that the Senate was able to pass a criminal justice reform bill was somewhat shocking.  The Senate voted to pass the bill 87 – 12 meaning that it wasn’t a straight party line vote.

The bill isn’t a complete overhaul but it does attempt to address some of the inequities present in the criminal justice system including sentencing and prison reform.  The bill was championed by Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, and Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois.  The “First Step Act” stands to significantly benefit those convicted of federal non-violent crimes and drug offenders.  The House which passed a similar bill earlier this year, approved the Senate version today passing it with a vote of 358 – 36.

Advocates of the bill hope to reduce overcrowding in federal prisons and use incentives for prisoners to complete programs focused on reducing recidivism.  The bill reduces prison sentences for some offenders convicted of non-violent, drug crimes and encourages rehabilitative efforts.  The President, who has publicly backed the bill, is expected to sign it into law.


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