Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700
#WENEED60: FAMM URGES CONGRESS TO PASS FIRST STEP ACT
Families across the nation push for 60 votes in Sen. Mitch McConnell’s whip count, ensuring the bill goes to a vote after midterm elections.
WASHINGTON – The criminal justice reform advocacy group FAMM has launched a new campaign aimed at garnering the 60 Senate votes needed to pass the FIRST STEP Act after the November elections. Sen. Mitch McConnell said earlier this month that he would bring the bill to the floor for a vote if his whip count ensures the support of 60 senators. The #WeNeed60 campaign encourages affected families, former prisoners, and the public to get involved and to urge their senators to commit to voting in favor of the FIRST STEP Act.
“Families are suffering unnecessarily, and the FIRST STEP Act would provide much-needed relief. Families suffer significant hardships, such as being unable to visit their loved ones imprisoned across the country or not being able to bring their dying or gravely ill loved ones home,” said FAMM President Kevin Ring. “The #WeNeed60 campaign allows families to work together to secure changes that would make a huge difference in their lives.”
The bill includes reforms such as increased good time credit, greater use of compassionate release, keeping federal prisoners within 500 driving miles of their loved ones, wider use of home confinement, and additional funding for recidivism-reducing programming in prisons. These policies have the potential to positively impact 183,000 people in federal prison and their families. The final bill is also expected to have some sentencing reform provisions.
The campaign comes on the heels of several efforts by FAMM to urge lawmakers to pass the FIRST STEP Act. In July, many affected families participated in a rally and lobby day to voice their concerns and to demonstrate the urgency of the issues.
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For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies in 6 states and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.
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