White House Release

President Donald J. Trump today signed landmark legislation – First Step Act of 2018 – to make the federal justice system fairer.

“The First Step Act will make communities safer and save tremendous taxpayers dollars. It brings much needed hope to many families during the holiday season,” Trump said as he signed the First Step Act into law.

ACHIEVING BIPARTISAN REFORM: President Donald J. Trump’s signing of the First Step Act marks a monumental bipartisan win for the American people.

  • Today, President Trump signed the First Step Act – legislation that paves a new pathway for our Federal justice system, reforming decades of policies that have failed Americans.
  • President Trump has been a tireless advocate of this legislation and has worked closely with Congress to secure its sweeping passage.
  • This legislation was supported by an overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

CREATING SAFER COMMUNITIES AND A FAIRER FEDERAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: The First Step Act will make our Federal justice system fairer and our communities safer.

  • The First Step Act will help prepare inmates to successfully rejoin society and enact commonsense sentencing reforms to make our justice system fairer for all Americans.
  • Among many reforms, the First Step Act will:
    • Promote prisoner participation in vocational training, educational coursework, or faith-based programs by allowing prisoners to earn time credits for pre-release custody.
    • Expand prison employment program opportunities.
    • Enact fair, commonsense reforms to mandatory minimums.
    • Eliminate the three-strike mandatory life sentencing provisions.
    • Give certain offenders the ability to petition the courts for a review of their sentences.
  • The First Step Act reforms our Federal justice system in a responsible way that will make our communities safer and keep violent criminals and sex offenders off our streets.
  • These historic reforms will address problems that have plagued our justice system for years.
    • Currently, approximately 77 percent of State inmates and 38 percent of Federal inmates are rearrested within five years of their release.

EARNING WIDESPREAD SUPPORT: The First Step Act has won praise from a wide-ranging coalition that crosses political divides.

  • The First Step Act is supported by a broad coalition spanning the political spectrum, including business groups, faith-based organizations, law enforcement, and State and local leaders.
  • More than 2,400 faith leaders joined in advocating for the First Step Act.
  • This legislation has received incredible praise from law enforcement, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and 172 former Federal prosecutors.
    • National President of the Fraternal Order of Police: “[First Step] will make our streets and neighborhoods safer, and our police will be better protected.”
    • Sheriffs from 34 States across the country recently wrote in support of the legislation and praised President Trump’s leadership on the issue.
    • 172 former Federal prosecutors recently wrote Congressional leaders calling the legislation “good for federal law enforcement and public safety.”