Nick Givas, DCNF
CNN host Van Jones called President Donald Trump the “loudest champion on criminal justice” on “New Day” Wednesday and praised the commander-in-chief for using his power to push prison reform.
The Senate passed a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill Tuesday by an overwhelming majority of 87-12. The First Step Act gives judges more leeway when sentencing drug offenders and offers more opportunities for prison rehab programs, according to The Associated Press. It would also reduce life sentences for some who have three drug strikes against them down to 25 years, while allowing almost 2,600 federal prisoners the opportunity appeal for a reduced prison time, the AP reported.
“Look, this is a Christmas miracle,” Jones began. “You have, for the first time in more than a generation, both parties coming together to do something for the people at the bottom. There’s no big Super PAC. You’re not getting campaign donations. This was the right thing to do and what it means is that people can earn their way home sooner by getting themselves job-ready, transforming themselves, there’s going to be programs so that people who are locked up have an incentive and a reason to work hard and come home better and not bitter.”
“You can’t get 87-12 to change the name of a post office these days,” he said.
“[Trump] became, to the shock of everybody, the biggest, loudest champion on criminal justice and used his power to get something done. Look, I got 99 conflicts with the Trump administration — prisons are not one,” Jones added.
“Everybody came together on this. From Dr. King’s family, Bernice King to Sean Hannity, we had the National Association of Manufacturers on the same page. We cut 50 in the ACLU. Nobody — people were bewildered looking at each other going, ‘is this happening? Are we coming together?’ And we came together for the people at the bottom — a holiday miracle.”
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