Washington, DC—Below is a statement by United States Conference of Mayors President Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin on the Senate passing The First Step Act:

“America’s mayors believe that last night’s Senate passage of The First Step Act represents important progress on two fronts.  It is a win for public safety and a win for bipartisanship.

“The First Step Act will make our federal justice system more just. The bill contains provisions to promote successful reentry to communities by inmates who have served their sentences, reduce recidivism, lessen sentencing disparities, and reduce prison overcrowding, while preserving important law enforcement tools to tackle criminal enterprises.

“The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 87-12, demonstrating the strong bipartisan support it enjoys.  It is also supported by a wide range of organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  America’s mayors work in a bipartisan fashion in their cities every day and in our Conference.  Seeing the Senate do the same on legislation that addresses a critical problem in this country is heartening, and an important first step.

“We look forward to quick action in the House so that the President will be able to sign it into law before the holidays.”