NEW YORK – U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which includes provisions to fund the continued implementation of the First Step Act. The spending bill provides $409,483,000 in funding for fiscal year 2021.
Signed into law in 2018, the First Step Act was historic, bipartisan legislation to position newly released individuals to successfully re-enter society as well as change draconian sentencing laws connected to the failed war on drugs.
“$409,483,000 in funding for the programs and activities authorized by the First Step Act is a victory for all Americans who believe in justice and the power of redemption,” said Rep. Jeffries. “The law will continue to transform lives by expanding access to the mental health counseling, education, job training and substance abuse treatment needed to help incarcerated individuals get back on their feet and become productive members of society. The law has also started to reverse engineer the tragic legacy of the failed war on drugs by retroactively providing relief for shameful crack cocaine sentencing disparities. As I have said since its passage two years ago, the First Step Act is not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end. It’s simply the end of the beginning of a bipartisan journey to eradicate the mass incarceration epidemic in America.”