Last year, President Donald Trump signed the First Step Act into law. This legislation creates reforms in the criminal justice system to save taxpayer dollars, decrease the crime rate and help those looking for a new start at life.
North Carolina lawmakers are following that example by introducing their own version of criminal justice reform – the North Carolina First Step Act.
Our state’s mandatory minimum sentences force judges to put low-level offenders in prison for decades. This drives up the prison population and costs but does not increase public safety or address the root of the problem.
North Carolina’s First Step Act would make much-needed reforms to sentencing to let judges use their discretion during sentencing. Our state’s mandatory minimums for drug offenses are an outlier, and our neighbors have made reforms, including Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Maryland.
Studies also indicate that these harsh sentencing rules don’t reduce crime or make our communities safer. By creating more proportional sentences, this bill will help reduce recidivism and make our communities safer, while ensuring that law-breakers are held accountable.
This is a great first step to make our streets safer, ease the burden on taxpayers and ensure that the punishment truly fits the crime in North Carolina.
Tell lawmakers to support the North Carolina First Step Act!