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Senate passes criminal justice reform

by Kent Covington
Posted 12/19/18, 11:23 am

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a sweeping criminal justice reform bill Tuesday night that will adjust sentencing rules and expand job training programs and other efforts to help former inmates stay out of prison. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said while the bill gives judges more discretion when sentencing nonviolent offenders, language was added to ensure the law does not go easy on those who pose a threat to the public. “It lowers mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders,” Cruz said. “This amendment excludes a series of specific violent offenses including carjacking … destruction of aircraft and motor vehicles, and drive-by shootings.”

Prison Fellowship applauded the legislation, saying it corrected failing policies and disproportionate sentencing practices and will help inmates to leave prison and become productive citizens. “This legislation will help reduce recidivism by preparing men and women to fulfill their God-given potential through restorative programming, including improved substance-abuse treatment programs, life skills classes, and vocational training—building job readiness to fuel local economies,” Prison Fellowship President and CEO James Ackerman said.

Leaders in the House say they’ll pass the bill later this week and send it to President Donald Trump, who tweeted, “I look forward to signing this into law!”


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