SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, issues the following statement:
“Americans believe in second chances. It’s a part of our social orientation and our national character. When Americans beg for a more just society, and when people of faith pray that our nation would more closely resemble the Character of God, we must look no further than prison reform as the place to begin. The FIRST STEP Act, which was already passed overwhelming by the House, is the embodiment of all that is good in America while simultaneously representing so much of what we aspire to become. This bill affirms that all people can and sometimes do, change by expanding judicial flexibility to override sentencing minimums; by providing enhanced recidivism-reduction programs including faith-based classes; by introducing access to halfway house transitional opportunities; and through various other common-sense sentencing reforms. When talking about the new believer, the Bible boldly states ‘the old is gone, the new has come.’ If God holds out hope for each one of us, may we do the same as a nation by urging the Senate to pass the FIRST STEP Act.”
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, executive producer of The Impossible with 20th Century Fox, and bestselling author of “Shake Free.” He has been named by CNN and Fox News as “the leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and TIME Magazine nominated him among the 100 most influential leaders in America.
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is recognized and identified by Time Magazine, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News and CNN as America’s largest and most influential Hispanic/Latino Christian organization with 40,118 certified member churches in the United States and chapters in Latin America.