Sen. Scott, Colleagues Announce Revised Criminal Justice Reform Package

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Monday, December 17th, 2018

A group of lawmakers released revised text of the First Step Act to continue building support for criminal justice reform. This update was brokered by the White House and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in both chambers of Congress, including Senator Scott, who was also an original cosponsor of the legislation. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan have pledged to take up the revised package before the end of the year.

“As an original co-sponsor of the First Step Act, I want to thank each and every person who has played an instrumental role in getting this once-in-a-generation bill to the Senate floor. This has been a team effort that has spanned the political spectrum; and for that, we should all celebrate. Meaningful criminal justice reform is just one step in ensuring that the scales of justice are balanced for every American —a core principle of our nation. I am thrilled that President Trump, Chairman Grassley, various Senators, and advocacy groups worked side by side to prove to the American public that Congress still works. I look forward to ushering the First Step Act through the finish line and to the President’s desk,” Senator Tim Scott said

“Over the last several years, we’ve expanded support for comprehensive criminal justice reform by listening to stakeholders and lawmakers to strike a balance that reduces crime and recidivism, and the associated taxpayer burden, while ensuring that dangerous and career criminals face steep consequences for their actions. Today’s update represents the latest in our effort to achieve this goal. I appreciate the engagement from many of my colleagues to fine tune the most significant criminal justice reform in a generation, and I applaud President Trump and the White House for bringing everyone to the table to make this happen. Following these changes and the growing demonstration of support for this bill, Leader McConnell is keeping his word by pledging to hold a vote this year,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said.

The revised legislation further clarifies eligibility for earned time credits following successful completion of evidence-based recidivism reduction programs, and expands on the existing list of disqualifying offenses. The changes address points raised by some law enforcement groups and provides for additional transparency in the Bureau of Prisons’ risk assessment framework.