Building off his successful bipartisan First Step Act, signed into law in 2018, Cory Booker has announced his plan to further reform our criminal justice system.
The bill, known as the Next Step Act, includes a collection of bold reforms that largely jump past the incremental progresses of previous bills like 2018′s landmark First Step Act, which Booker co-sponsored.
“It’s been 75 days since the First Step Act was signed into law, and already, it’s changing lives,” the New Jersey Democrat said in a statement. “But the First Step Act is just as its name suggests – it is one step on the long road toward fixing our broken criminal justice system.”
Here are some key details:
The bill would slash mandatory minimum sentences in half for nonviolent drug offenders, making the longest mandatory sentence 10 years instead of 20 years. The First Step Act reduced the mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders but not for first-time offenders.
The bill would also completely eliminate the discrepancy between crack and powder cocaine sentences, which was first reduced in 2010 from 100:1 to 18:1 and applied retroactively in the First Step Act. Racial minorities are disproportionately sentenced for crack cocaine offenses: In fiscal year 2017, 94 percent of offenders were black or Hispanic, according to data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
It’s time we had a president with the vision and experience to fix the inequities of our justice system once and for all.
Can you pitch in today to keep Cory in the fight?