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Upton, House Advance Bipartisan Prison Reform Bill

Upton a co-sponsor of original underlying legislation

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Washington, May 22, 2018 | Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today joined colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in advancing H.R. 5682, the FIRST STEP Act. This bipartisan legislation improves the federal prison system through the implementation of corrections policy reforms. It strengthens public safety, enhances prison security, and provides inmates with the help they need to be more successful upon re-entering society.

“This bipartisan bill will help Americans of all walks of life. The vast majority of federal prisoners will someday be released from prison and it’s important to give them tools they need to become more productive citizens and not return to a life of crime,” said Upton. “The FIRST STEP Act provides targeted, bipartisan reforms to make our prison system more effective at rehabilitating offenders through personal development, educational, and vocational training programs. We must continue to work together to improve our entire criminal justice system.”

H.R. 5682 strengthens public safety by allowing the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to utilize effective recidivism reduction programs and provide incentives for inmates to participate in those programs. Ultimately, inmates could earn credits toward an alternative custody arrangement – such as a halfway house or home confinement – at the end of their prison sentence. Criminals convicted of certain serious offenses such as sexual offenders, murderers, and others would not be illegible for these programs.

H.R. 5682 enhances prison security by requiring the director of BOP to provide de-escalation training as part of the regular training requirements of correctional officers.

H.R. 5682 provides inmates the help they need by providing more employment opportunities for inmates by expanding the federal prison industries program, initiating pilot programs for youth mentorship and the training and therapy of rescue dogs, requires the BOP to submit a report and evaluation of the current pilot program to treat heroin and opioid abuse through medication assistance treatment, and more.

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