The Senate passed the First Step Act last night with an overwhelming majority, 87-12.
The prison-reform bill would ease the way for some prisoners to win early release to halfway houses or home confinement, according to Reuters, and aims to establish programs to head off repeat offenders and protect first-time non-violent offenders from harsh mandatory minimum sentences.
“It’s something that’s so important to the faith community. I believe the heart of the First Step Act is redemption. It’s actually an opportunity to give nonviolent prisoners a chance to rebuild their lives. If they, through years of good record and contributing and taking care of their families, do right, then they can actually have the word ‘felon’ taken off their permanent record. They’ll be able to get better jobs and build their families for generations with blessing instead of the curse of having that word,” Jentezen Franklin previously told Charisma.
Major faith leaders, including key Pentecostal preachers, advocated for the legislation and praised the vote as a groundbreaking step forward that can advance the kingdom of God.