By The Council of State Governments Justice Center Staff
The U.S. Senate voted yesterday to approve the landmark, bipartisan First Step Act, which makes changes to sentencing laws and provides people with the resources and tools they need to lead successful lives upon release from prison. The bill also reauthorizes the Second Chance Act, which provides funding for state- and local-level reentry programs that have been shown to reduce recidivism, enable better outcomes for people released from prison and jail, and save prison costs.
Megan Quattlebaum, director of The Council of State Governments Justice Center, issued the following statement:
“We commend the Senate for passing this comprehensive criminal justice reform package that makes much-needed improvements to the federal prison system. We also applaud the bill’s inclusion of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2018. Since its bipartisan enactment 10 years ago, the Second Chance Act has delivered more than 900 grants for reentry programs across 49 states that have helped an estimated 164,000 adults and juveniles prepare for release and ultimately reenter society safely and successfully after incarceration. The reauthorization improves existing programs that have demonstrated success and increases grantee accountability, among other measures. We look forward to swift passage in the House and President Trump’s signing of the legislation.”