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house Bill H.R. 5682

FIRST STEP Act: Reforming Corrections Programs to Reduce Recidivism

Argument in favor

This bipartisan bill makes important reforms to the federal prison system to control costs while improving programs to reduce recidivism when prisoners are released.

TracyEckels's Opinion
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05/22/2018
A very wise man once told me this about inmates. (If you treat them like an inmate they’ll act like an inmate. However if you treat them like a man they’ll act like a man). I followed this philosophy throughout my career with the Federal Bureau Of Prisons and I can say that I rarely ever had any problems with the inmates I supervised. A little respect can go a long way. Always give them what they’ve got coming, good or bad, always be fair.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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05/22/2018
For anyone out there wondering exactly what in the heck is recidivism. Think of the kid who keeps licking 9 volt batteries even after they have been shocked several times. Or, your desire to play just one more level of candy crush even when you have already been late 6 times to work this month. As for training prison guards to handle the complexities of CBT which is the one of the few therapies proven effective for recidivism, I can’t see how it would hurt. But, it is a pretty tall order. Simple answer, the best way for us to stop repeat offenders....Don't re-elect them! 🎟 Recidivism (/rɪˈsɪdɪvɪzəm/; from recidive and ism, from Latin recidīvus "recurring", from re- "back" and cadō "I fall") is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been trained to extinguish that behavior. It is also used to refer to the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested for a similar offense.[1] The term is frequently used in conjunction with criminal behavior and substance abuse. (Recidivism is a synonym for "relapse", which is more commonly used in medicine and in the disease model of addiction.) For example, scientific literature may refer to the recidivism of sexual offenders, meaning the frequency with which they are detected or apprehended committing additional sexual crimes after being released from prison for similar crimes.-defined by our friendly Wikipedia
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Cameron's Opinion
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05/22/2018
It's my personal opinion that the government should control all correctional facilities, and should move toward implementing more of a rehabilitation stance alongside the incarceration stance in place now. Prison now is 99% doing time & 1% survival. Leaving no room for rehabilitation, which is the only way to start lowering repeat offenders nationwide.
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Argument opposed

While the reforms to the federal prison system this bill offers may be worthwhile, it should be expanded to include reforms to shorten sentences for non-violent crime.

I.Got.an.Idea...'s Opinion
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05/22/2018
THE First Step would be to turn ALL private prisons over to the state. Statistics demonstrate that private prisons cost more to the taxpayers, have more injuries and fatalities to corrections officers and staff, and a higher recidivism rate than public prisons. Also, it has been demonstrated that there is much unethical acts surrounding private prisons, in which these corporations demand that police chiefs, district attorneys, judges and others do what they must to fill the prison cells. Take away greed, immorality and unethical behavior by Conservatives, and the Communities will experience less oppression and less family disruption and less costs to Americans, physically, emotionally and financially. Conservatism kills!!
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OlderNWiser's Opinion
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05/22/2018
Since prisoners are already starved for the profits of the prison industry and since there is no sentence reform, I would reluctantly say no to this bill. Prisoners need real job training, real mental health treatment. The dog idea is superb, but I am also suspicious of using prisoners as slaves yet again. 500 miles! My clients in Richmond, CA would walk miles through dangerous violent streets to see me—how are people without cars or public transportation access to see prisoners 500 miles away? I wish Congress had to spend a month being poor so that our elected officials who actually care could understand what they are imposing on people. My two years working in a prison unit showed me prisoners are human beings like you and me with one more stress or one more mental illness. Prison reform—yes! Prison slavery—no! PS I studied 4 years to learn CBT. Guards?
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RadicalModerate's Opinion
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05/23/2018
This bill doesn’t reform prison sentencing. Over 70 Civil rights groups oppose this legislation. Please vote no.
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    A very wise man once told me this about inmates. (If you treat them like an inmate they’ll act like an inmate. However if you treat them like a man they’ll act like a man). I followed this philosophy throughout my career with the Federal Bureau Of Prisons and I can say that I rarely ever had any problems with the inmates I supervised. A little respect can go a long way. Always give them what they’ve got coming, good or bad, always be fair.
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    THE First Step would be to turn ALL private prisons over to the state. Statistics demonstrate that private prisons cost more to the taxpayers, have more injuries and fatalities to corrections officers and staff, and a higher recidivism rate than public prisons. Also, it has been demonstrated that there is much unethical acts surrounding private prisons, in which these corporations demand that police chiefs, district attorneys, judges and others do what they must to fill the prison cells. Take away greed, immorality and unethical behavior by Conservatives, and the Communities will experience less oppression and less family disruption and less costs to Americans, physically, emotionally and financially. Conservatism kills!!
    Like (48)
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    Since prisoners are already starved for the profits of the prison industry and since there is no sentence reform, I would reluctantly say no to this bill. Prisoners need real job training, real mental health treatment. The dog idea is superb, but I am also suspicious of using prisoners as slaves yet again. 500 miles! My clients in Richmond, CA would walk miles through dangerous violent streets to see me—how are people without cars or public transportation access to see prisoners 500 miles away? I wish Congress had to spend a month being poor so that our elected officials who actually care could understand what they are imposing on people. My two years working in a prison unit showed me prisoners are human beings like you and me with one more stress or one more mental illness. Prison reform—yes! Prison slavery—no! PS I studied 4 years to learn CBT. Guards?
    Like (38)
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    For anyone out there wondering exactly what in the heck is recidivism. Think of the kid who keeps licking 9 volt batteries even after they have been shocked several times. Or, your desire to play just one more level of candy crush even when you have already been late 6 times to work this month. As for training prison guards to handle the complexities of CBT which is the one of the few therapies proven effective for recidivism, I can’t see how it would hurt. But, it is a pretty tall order. Simple answer, the best way for us to stop repeat offenders....Don't re-elect them! 🎟 Recidivism (/rɪˈsɪdɪvɪzəm/; from recidive and ism, from Latin recidīvus "recurring", from re- "back" and cadō "I fall") is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior, or have been trained to extinguish that behavior. It is also used to refer to the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested for a similar offense.[1] The term is frequently used in conjunction with criminal behavior and substance abuse. (Recidivism is a synonym for "relapse", which is more commonly used in medicine and in the disease model of addiction.) For example, scientific literature may refer to the recidivism of sexual offenders, meaning the frequency with which they are detected or apprehended committing additional sexual crimes after being released from prison for similar crimes.-defined by our friendly Wikipedia
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    The reforms included in this bill to the prison system are great. However, their effectiveness will be reduced if we don’t also include reductions in prison time as well. The longer that people stay in prison especially ones that were put in prison for non-violent crimes, the higher the likelihood that they will become hardened inmates who will be harder to rehabilitate.
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    It's my personal opinion that the government should control all correctional facilities, and should move toward implementing more of a rehabilitation stance alongside the incarceration stance in place now. Prison now is 99% doing time & 1% survival. Leaving no room for rehabilitation, which is the only way to start lowering repeat offenders nationwide.
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    This bill doesn’t reform prison sentencing. Over 70 Civil rights groups oppose this legislation. Please vote no.
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    The most important thing to do to stop recidivism is educational programs in prisons. Training for a better job or other forms of education should be a part of any prison program. So many career prisoners become so because of poverty and lack of education, so if they come out, no more knowledgable than they went in, they have very little chance of staying out of prison again. I they can be trained for a better chance at gainful employment when they come out, they have a way to avoid the cycle of poverty and crime. Since keeping people in prison is a lot more expensive than their education would be, this type of program just makes financial as well as humane sense!
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    This is a good start. We do need sentencing reform though, and also a end to the for-profit prison system. Reducing recidivism and rehabilitation for inmates is in direct opposition to a profitable prison business. They have mutually exclusive goals. For-Profit Prisons must end.
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    Step one- END FOR PROFIT PRISONS. Step two- mean what you say. If a prison sentence pays the debt to society then don’t punish prisoners for the rest of their life.
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    How bout we start INCARCERATING LAWMAKERS/SENATORS/CONGRESSMEN who commit crimes against our country. LOCK THEM UP!!!
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    My vote of ‘Yay’ is also a vote ‘Nay’. Is there a reason the bipartisan committee couldn’t also include lesser sentences for non-violent crimes? Why do we always go halfway? Why isn’t there a plan to look at the whole issue of prison reform and budgeting? For instance, if there was a patient who has cataracts in both eyes, wouldn’t one physician treat both eyes? It would be costly and frankly nonsense that one physician would treat the right eye, while another treats the left eye.
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    “H.R. 5682— the FIRST STEP Act” I recommend strongly passage of this bill H.R. 5682— the FIRST STEP Act — Which would implement reforms to the federal prison system to control corrections spending, manage the prison population, provide educational and vocational training to inmates so they can successfully reenter society, and reduce recidivism. This bipartisan bill makes important reforms to the federal prison system to control costs while improving programs to reduce recidivism when prisoners are released. 5*22*18
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    We have the largest prison population in the world and way too high rates of rescindivism. We should be helping these people become productive members of society not throw them away.
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    This bipartisan bill makes important reforms to the federal prison system to control costs while improving programs to reduce recidivism when prisoners are released. However, please consider expanding and putting forth another bill for non-violent offenders.
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    This is a first step. Next thing is to stop jailing people for any little thing, especially focusing on people of color.
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    What about for profit prisons? There is no incentive for profit prisons, the more people he more money, the bigger the profit!
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    Amazing! These things were granted years ago! What happened? Why is this having to be made law again? By all means, pass these common sense laws for Step I. Then get busy on Step 1.5 — the reform of sentencing guidelines that reflect reality, not racist, prejudicial, knee-jerk reaction sentencing laws. It boggles the mind that these things weren’t legalized in the 1970s and 1980s.
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    I believe in second chances and it should be state as well as federal prison
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    I have to say No to this! They are in the Fed Pen because they committed crimes larger than state crimes! Punishment first!! Chop rocks! Must of them are the worst of the worst! Too F-ing Bad!
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