Daines to co-sponsor criminal justice system reform legislation
News from the office of Senator Steve Daines
U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced he will cosponsor and support legislation to reform the criminal justice system after working to ensure meth and sex offender provisions were included in the bill.
“Meth use has skyrocketed in Montana. We need to make sure we have every tool available to fight against an epidemic that is tearing families apart and increasing violent crimes in our state,” Daines said. “I’m glad to have worked to ensure high-level meth dealers and sex offenders are excluded from the benefits of the First Step Act to help protect Montana families and communities. I’m happy to co-sponsor this bill.”
The bill, the First Step Act, prohibits the offenders of 48 specific crimes from earning and using good time credits, including violent criminals and high-level heroin and fentanyl dealers. Due to the increase in meth use in Montana and the violent nature of methamphetamines, Daines worked to include high-level meth dealers as one of the 48 offenders that are prohibited from using and earning time credits. He also worked to ensure sex offenders were included in the list.
The First Step Act is a bipartisan bill to reform the criminal justice system in order to focus resources on the worst criminals. Specifically, the bill:
— Increases programs designed to reduce recidivism and prepare offenders to return to their families, their communities and back into the workforce.
— Creates a risk assessment system that determines each inmate’s risk of recidivism.
— Low level offenders who are assessed as having a low risk of recidivism may earn time credits for pre-release custody.
— Violent criminals, sex offenders, certain high-level drug dealers, and other high-risk criminals are not permitted to earn time credits for pre-release custody.
— Increases employment and training opportunities so offenders can better return to the workforce
— Prohibits the use of restraints on pregnant inmates.
— Expands the definition of serious violent offenders to enhance the sentences of violent criminals.