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H.R. 5682: FIRST STEP Act

This was a vote to pass H.R. 5682 in the House. This vote was taken under a House procedure called “suspension of the rules” which is typically used to pass non-controversial bills. Votes under suspension require a 2/3rds majority. A failed vote under suspension can be taken again.

H.R. 5682 requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to develop and apply a risk and needs assessment system to identify a prisoner’s risk and assign them to appropriate evidence-based programming. Prisoners can earn incentives for participating in the programming.

Prison reform initiatives have demonstrated success in state systems, and the FIRST STEP Act would enable the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to capitalize on similar resources at the federal level. The legislation would direct the BOP to conduct risk- and needs-assessments for every offender upon sentencing, and then to offer individualized, evidence-based recidivism reduction plans to all inmates, without exception. Programs could include vocational training, educational support, substance abuse treatment, mental health care, anger-management courses, faith-based initiatives or other resources proven to lower the chance that men and women reoffend.

The FIRST STEP Act would also prepare individuals to reenter their communities as responsible citizens by allowing them to serve the final days of their sentences in halfway houses or home confinement, which equips them with support structures as they transition out of custody. As inmates progress through rehabilitation plans tailored to their needs and approach the end of their sentences, the BOP would conduct risk- and needs-assessments more frequently in order to document when individuals have successfully reduced their risk of reoffending and to ensure that the most appropriate resources remain available to them during the reentry process.

Additional provisions of the bill would require that prisoners be placed in facilities located nearer their families, that female inmates have access to certain tampons and menstrual pads as needed, and that individuals leaving custody would receive identification documents that are often pre-requisites for employment.

Source: Republican Policy Committee

Totals

All Votes R D
Yea 84%
 
 
360
226
 
134
 
Nay 14%
 
 
59
2
 
57
 
Not Voting 2%
 
 
8
6
 
2
 

Date: May 22, 2018

Question: On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended in the House

Required: 2/3

Result: Passed

Source: house.gov

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Statistically Notable Votes

Statistically notable votes are the votes that are most surprising, or least predictable, given how other members of each voter’s party voted and other factors.

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