What You Need To Know About The First Step Act

November 20, 2018

I’m writing to to share the concerns of JustLeadershipUSA, and key national partner organizations regarding the First Step Act.

Despite recent revisions, many of them good, thanks to the leadership of our sisters at the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, JLUSA remains in qualified opposition to the First Step Act. Our mission is to cut the U.S. correctional population in #halfby2030. While the First Step Act brings home many of our loved ones, and contains good policies including unshackling of pregnant women, earned credits, and sentencing reform – the bill does not address or seek to undo structural racism; instead it re-entrenches it and sets a precedent in creating more harm by the implementation of risk assessment tools that demonstrate biases toward Black and brown defendants.

I urge you to read our full statement and our policy brief which, together, outline our urgent concerns with this legislation, the consequences for our families and communities, as well as our proposed alterations.

I hope you will join us in fighting for justice toward our mission of cutting the US correctional population in #halfby2030 and empowering the people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform in ways that are fully informed.

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