Press Releases

Larsen Supports Historic Criminal Justice Reform Legislation

Washington, DC, December 21, 2018

Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) issued the below statement after voting for the First Step Act, which makes significant changes to the federal criminal justice system:

“The First Step Act is a good start in making important reforms to the U.S. criminal justice system. This bill reforms sentencing, prisoner assessment, living conditions and post-sentencing support. Through new programs, the bill aims to reduce recidivism and implement post-sentencing support,” said Larsen.

The bill makes important sentencing reforms for non-violent drug offenders and allows prisoners sentenced before the 2010 law to decrease the disparity on crack/cocaine to petition the court to be resentenced. The bill also includes other necessary provisions like banning the restraint of pregnant women and allowing access to employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, family programming, mentoring and victim support.

“While Congress has more work to do in reforming the criminal justice system and decreasing the disparities within the system, I hope this first step will lead to many second chances,” said Larsen.