Georgia Representative Doug Collins and New York’s Representative Hakeem Jeffries sponsored the House version of the “First Step Act” to reform the criminal justice system.
Rep. Collins, Doug [R-GA-9] Introduced the bill on May 7, 2018 as H.R.5682 - FIRST STEP Act during the 115th Congress (2017-2018) session.
At first glance, these are the critical components of the legislation
1. Removes mandatory life sentences and mandatory terms limits for life sentences and reduces the term limits under the former “3-strikes” legislation.
2. Removes the mandatory terms that judges had to follow regarding sentencing guidelines and gives them more discretion.
3. The legislation provides for rehabilitation program and services for inmates
4. Inmates are entitled to receive credit for good behavior.
The Senate also offered a version of their bill to co-exist with the House bill.
For years, Sherri Jefferson has been working on advocacy for victims of sex trafficking, women and girls in the system and persons facing mandatory terms for drug offenses as noted in her books: The Houses That Raise Our Girls and Motor City: The War on Drugs and Two of Americas Most Wanted.