WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – On Friday in South Carolina, President Trump was honored for his work on criminal justice reform.
The President used the event to celebrate the criminal justice reform legislation he signed last year called the “First Step Act.”
“First step is good because that allows a second step and third step and that’s ok because we can do there too,” Pres. Trump said.
Ja’Ron Smith helped the President craft the reforms and said the President has led the way.
“He’s been extremely vocal we don’t always get coverage but that hasn’t stopped us from taking the lead, “ Smith said.
The act reduced mandatory minimum sentences and expanded drug treatment programs for prisoners and parolees.
But experts agree, the act really is just a ‘first step’ toward what needs to be done.
“The first step was always supposed to be the first step in incremental reform,” Emily Mooney a Resident Policy Fellow with the conservative R Street Institute said.
Mooney said lawmakers are already working on the next step.
Legislation called the “REAL ACT” will lift the current federal ban on Pell Grants for current federal convicts improving their educational opportunities.
“I think that through maybe some education as well as personal experience from his son in law he has come to see that there is a big return on investing on individuals who are incarcerated.”
For now the issue has bipartisan support with 2020 democratic presidential candidates expected to introduce their own proposals for criminal justice reform at the same event this weekend.