National Law Enforcement Leaders Worried: Is First Step A Big Misstep?

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Could Sentencing Scheme Release Opioid Dealers, Repeat Violent Gun Offenders and Dangerous MS-13 Gang Members Back into Our Communities?

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today leaders of law enforcement organizations met at The White House with President Donald Trump’s senior staff to discuss the current iteration of the First Step Act and a number of added enhancements to the legislation.

“President Trump won on securing our nation against vicious criminal gangs and we applaud his substantial actions to tackle the opioid epidemic that is destroying our communities,” said the National Sheriffs’ Association’s Executive Director and CEO, Jonathan Thompson.

“According to reports the First Step Act will release dangerous criminals back into our communities without valid job-training. The bill fails to provide substance abuse treatment or individual and family counseling services needed throughout the process to a successful re-entry to society. Law enforcement wants fewer inmates in jails and prisons, but the bill fails terribly. According to the Bureau of Prisons the bill falls far short in the funding, personnel and social services needed to protect our communities.

“Sheriffs remain deeply concerned over the prospects of the First Step Act. Reports of the legislation calls for the immediate release of up to 4,000 inmates, including dangerous heroin and fentanyl dealers, repeat violent firearm offenders and malicious MS-13 gang members are disturbing if true. At this point we can’t offer our support without seeing the specific language being considered. If this bill becomes law more law enforcement personnel and innocent citizens, who we are sworn to protect, will be needlessly harmed and murdered.”

About NSA:
The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) is one of the largest associations of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation, and a total membership of more than 20,000. NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety. Throughout its seventy-seven year history, NSA has served as an information clearinghouse for sheriffs, deputies, chiefs of police, other law enforcement professionals, state governments and the federal government.