FOP and IACP Support Meaningful Criminal Justice Reform
Nation’s most prominent law enforcement organizations back revised First Step Act
Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, and Chief Paul M. Cell,President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, today affirmed their organizations’support for a revised and amended version of the First Step Act, a bill developed by the Administration to make important reforms to our nation’s criminal justice system.
“President Trump had pledged to enact meaningful criminal justice reform which had the support of law enforcement,” stated Canterbury and Cell. “By working collaboratively with the FOP and the IACP, the Administration has achieved this goal.”
The legislation, entitled the “First Step Act”, would establish a comprehensive and objective risk and needs assessment tool to provide an individual profile of all federal inmates. Those offenders deemed to be at low risk to re-offend would be given incentives and access to evidence-based recidivism reduction programs to better prepare them to return to their neighborhoods and become productive members of the community. More importantly, offenders who are deemed to be at-risk to re-offend will not have such access.
“By individually assessing those offenders with the lowest risk to re-offend, law enforcement officers can better focus their resources,” explained Canterbury. “Our organizations played a key role in making sure that truly dangerous offenders are ineligible to participate in the First Step program. The revised draft clearly defines more than 50 federal offenses that would make prisoners ineligible to participate in the First Step program. This includes offenders convicted of organizing or supervising fentanyl trafficking operations, recidivist firearms offenders, and inadmissible or deportable aliens who are incarcerated for a federal offense.”
The legislation also contains provisions that would implement certain sentencing reforms. The FOPand IACP worked with policymakers in both the Administration and Congress to make sure that these changes are prospective and would not, except in the case of the existing Fair Sentencing Act, be applied retroactively. The bill also contains an important provision that will improve the safety of federal correctional officers.
“Together, the FOP and the IACP ensured that the perspective of the law enforcement community was heard and that protecting the safety of the public was the paramount concern as we worked with an Administration committed to the idea of criminal justice reform. As a result of our combined efforts, we have a newly revised bill—with bipartisan support—that we believe can pass Congress before the end of the year,” said Cell. “This is a genuine opportunity to make our nation’s criminal justice system safer and fairer for all.”
“We have been proud to be work with President Trump on this critical issue and are grateful for his leadership and for his constant and unwavering support for law enforcement,” Canterbury said. “We look forward to getting this bill to his desk.”
The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States with more than 345,000 members.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is the world’s largest and most influential professional association for police leaders. With more than 31,000 members in 150 countries, the IACP is a recognized leader in global policing. Since 1893, the association has been speaking out on behalf of law enforcement and advancing leadership and professionalism in policing worldwide.