Buried deep in the First Step Act appears to be a highly controversial section that would go easy on convicted pedophiles.
The Senate First Step Act, which is backed by President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, would make sweeping changes to the United States federal criminal justice system.
While many are praising the bill for having good intentions and seeking to give more people a second chance at life, the latest version of the bill would allow thousands of violent felons to be released early from prison.
On Monday, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR, brought attention to a section of the Senate bill that would make 1,466 convicted pedophiles “eligible for time credits,” which are used to reduce sentences.
“The Cotton-Kennedy Amdts to FSA exclude all violent felons & sex offenders from any early release credits. Current bill allows 1,466 sex offenders convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 2422 to qualify for time credits. Our amendment fixes this,” Cotton wrote.
The Cotton-Kennedy Amdts to FSA exclude all violent felons & sex offenders from any early release credits. Current bill allows 1,466 sex offenders convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 2422 to qualify for time credits. Our amendment fixes this. cc: @SenJohnKennedy https://t.co/rkOVyanDwD pic.twitter.com/cXhBSq1Fg5
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) December 17, 2018
Cotton and several other lawmakers are proposing an amendment that would not allow convicted pedophiles to be eligible under the legislation for early release from prison.
While many certainly agree with giving those who have served their time a second change at life, there are a number of issues with the current bill.
Aside from potentially allowing over a thousands convicted pedophiles to be released from prison early, another major issue with the bill is that several inmates will be released without having to complete any additional rehabilitation programs.
There are also a number of concerns with releasing such a large number of prisoners at once, which will surely endanger public safety and make it harder for law enforcement officials to protect communities across the country.
Buried deep in the bill is also a section that states inmates would only have to participate in “productive activities” in order to receive credits for early release.
Those “productive activities” include watching movies, playing softball, or other basic activities that prisoners are already required to do each day.
That’s why so many Republicans support the idea of the bill, but are trying to clean-up many of the buried details on the bill that so many Democrats support.
The First Step Act makes 1,466 convicted pedophiles “eligible for time credits”, according to the U.S Sentencing Commission.
How do you feel about that? https://t.co/5sbbkmyt2v
— An Open Secret (@AnOpenSecret) December 19, 2018
Many Americans do not want convicted criminals to be able to play softball to earn a credit for early release. They also don’t want convicted pedophiles who preyed on young children to be released early from prison.
The bill still has a few more hurdles to go through before Trump would be able to sign it into law, but Cotton and other Republicans are trying to remove several of these ridiculous sections hidden deep in the bill.