This week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that a revised version of the FIRST STEP Act (S. 3649) will be sent to the floor for a vote. The bill is a historic piece of legislation that proposes recidivism reduction programs, moderate sentencing reforms for minimal and low-risk offenders and reauthorizes the Second Chance Act to improve academic and vocational education in prison.

As Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform has stated:

The costs, human and monetary, are too high to not pass the bill. Hugely long sentences for non-violent offenders ruin lives and families and drain taxpayer dollars. Senators should wholeheartedly support the FIRST STEP Act so it becomes law before the end of 2018.

This is the “first step” in bringing reform to a broken, expensive system. The reform will increase public safety by using proven methods to reduce recidivism, effectively driving down the prevalence and cost of crime for generations to come.”

Both the Senate and House versions of the bill would help reduce recidivism by providing time-release credits to inmates who participate in rehabilitative programs. The Senate version of the bill includes moderate sentencing reforms.

The Senate version (S. 3649) of the bill is sponsored by Senator Chuck Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in the Senate and has a bipartisan group of more than 20 co-sponsors. The baseline bill passed the House with a vote of 360-59, and is sponsored by Congressman Doug Collins (R- Ga-9) in the House (H.R.5682).