First Step Act: Reducing Sentences For Nonviolent Offenders

The First Step Act, Chuck Colson, and the Church’s Work of Restoration

  • “The First Step Act,” which sought to reduce the number of people in overcrowded federal prisons and improve conditions for those behind bars.
  • When he endorsed the bill, President Trump said, “We’re all better off when former inmates can receive and re-enter society as law-abiding, productive citizens.” At last month’s Republican National Convention, Ivanka Trump called the First Step Act “the most significant criminal justice reform of our generation.” That’s not an overstatement.
  • A major feature of the bill is that it reduces mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders, especially “low-level, nonviolent offenders.”
  • In its first year, the First Step Act has literally changed thousands of lives. According to a recent report from the United States Sentencing Commission, the sentences of more than 7,000 federal prisoners, deemed able to safely return to their communities, were reduced.
  • the First Step Act is a modest, but very real, “first step” towards comprehensive criminal justice reform