Governors: First Step Act Deserves a Vote This Congress

In response to S. 3649 gaining momentum in the U.S. Senate, the National Governors Association (NGA) released the following statement:

“The National Governors Association applauds Congress and the Trump Administration for moving closer to enacting S.3649, the First Step Act, and urges Congress to act quickly to advance this legislation.

Governors have long called on Congress and the federal government to implement smarter, fairer and more cost-effective criminal justice policies, just as governors have done in their respective states to improve public safety outcomes.

The First Step Act underscores many of the key policy principles adopted by the National Governors Association. In fact, this once-in-a-generation effort to modernize our federal criminal justice system wisely builds on reform initiatives in the states from the last decade and Governors encourage Congress to move forward with this historic legislation.”

– Scott D. Pattison, CEO and Executive Director of the National Governors Association

Additional Background:

Earlier this year, the NGA Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee sent a letter requesting that Congress include these important policy principles in any final bill. The inclusion of many of these principles and policies creates an opportunity for greater state-federal partnership.  To that end, NGA is also pleased to see the inclusion of language which aims to;

·       Reduce crime, incarceration and recidivism rates;

·       Improve reentry processes;

·       Adopt evidence-based and data-driven policies;

·       Increase fairness in sentencing for lower-level, non-violent offenders;

·       Provide more equitable treatment of incarcerated women;

·       Provide additional opportunities for education, skills training and work programs; and

·       Enhance efforts to secure identification for returning citizens