Urgent “First Step Act” needs your support!
Remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering… Hebrews 13:3″
WHY WE SUPPORT THE FIRST STEP ACT
If you observe most Americans’ behavior lately, you will notice that people are usually divided on almost every political issue. Yet, somehow, there is agreement on criminal justice reform. The reality is that the use of outdated and draconian policies has not made things much better. Mandatory minimum sentencing and the war on drugs have caused the American prison population to skyrocket. And although we enjoy low crime rates now, not much of that can be attributed to this over-incarceration. And the crime that remains has another cause.
Thankfully, President Donald Trump is taking action to improve America’s criminal justice system, undoing the mistakes of past presidents and Congresses.
Criminal justice is a topic that greatly affects Hispanic Americans, as it does all Americans. As conservatives, we often question the action and power of government, but public safety is one area where we all agree that the government must be involved and must get it right.
We understand the dangers of the drug trade and other criminal enterprises. We need a balance of safety, security, due process, and fairness. The current system does not hold such a balance.
We support the First Step Act. We won’t pretend that it will end over-incarceration or solve all the problems in the criminal justice system. But we do recognize that this act represents an incremental reform that will increase public safety by easing prisoners’ transition back to society after serving their time. This is will impact all of the families in our community, improving lives.
If you take a closer look at what happens when someone is imprisoned, you will realize that the government does a poor job of preparing prisoners for the re-entry process after their sentence ends.
- Inmates are separated from their families, and current Bureau of Prisons (BOP) rules do not allow for continued family contact.
- Low-level offenders may be mixed into a prison population with more serious criminals.
- There is too much focus on punishment, and not nearly enough on redemption.
It is common sense that the criminal justice system has the responsibility of ensuring that those punished will come back to society with the aim of restoring order and liberty.
The First Step Act would bring the federal government closer to the model in Texas. Texas has focused on ensuring that people come out of prison better than they entered. This is the reason why we have questioned whether the federal government’s efforts are the best way of reducing crime. The reforms of Texas have given us a new path, built on conservative principles which focus on redemption and rehabilitation which we believe is missing at the federal level.
The Republican National Hispanic Assembly supports the First Step Act. We encourage all Republican Senators to cosponsor the legislation to encourage Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the bill to the Senate floor. We are confident that he will garner enough support to bring it to the floor for a vote before the end of the year.
CALL TO ACTION:
As the RNHA supports this bill, we need support from you. Call your Senator and encourage him or her to cosponsor the First Step Act and ask Leader McConnell to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote this year. This action will ensure that this bi-partisan bill become law.
Click on the link and contact your Senator today!
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