A legislative overhaul to the criminal justice system has won widespread support from both major political parties on Capitol Hill and within the White House, but has yet to earn support from one of the key constituencies it would impact: federal law enforcement.
The bicameral, bipartisan First Step Act, for which President Trump recently announced his support, seeks to reduce minimum sentencing requirements for certain crimes, incentivize federal inmates to participate in more rehabilitation programs and allow for a higher cap on the time well-behaved inmates can slash off their sentences, among other changes. Advocates for criminal justice reform say the hard-fought compromise bill would benefit thousands of non-violent federal offenders, reduce overcrowding in federal prisons and provide a path to reducing recidivism. Some in the federal community, however, are not convinced the bill is a positive step forward.
The measure would free dangerous criminals federal officials fought to lock up to ensure the safety of American communities, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association said in announcing its opposition to the bill. The group represents 27,000 officers across 65 federal agencies.
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