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Sen. Cruz Releases Statement on His Support for a Revised Version of the First Step Act

HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today released the following statement on his support for a revised version of the First Step Act:

"I have long supported criminal justice reform. I believe in reducing mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, and providing greater opportunities for offenders to be rehabilitated. At the same time, I do not believe we should be granting early release to violent offenders.

"That is why I drafted an amendment that would exclude violent offenders from being released early. I'm happy to report that, after working closely with the White House and the sponsors of this bill, they have decided to accept my amendment. This new version of the bill resolves my concerns, and is one that I wholeheartedly support and cosponsor.

"With these necessary improvements, I believe the Senate should take up and pass this important legislation. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with the White House and the bill sponsors to make sure that happens.

"With these changes, this bill gives non-violent offenders a better chance at rejoining society while keeping violent offenders behind bars. It lowers mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, creates new programs to reduce recidivism, and gives inmates an incentive to better themselves with those programs through earned time credits. It makes common-sense reforms to prison conditions by promoting the compassionate release of elderly prisoners and prohibiting the shackling of pregnant women. Following the example of Texas's criminal justice reform, this bill will bring much needed improvements to our criminal justice system."