PressTV-US Senate approves criminal justice legislation

The US Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed legislation long in the making and backed by President Donald Trump to reduce sentences for certain prison inmates.

By a vote of 87-12, the Republican-led Senate passed and sent to the House of Representatives the “First Step Act,” which would ease the way for some prisoners to win early release to halfway houses or home confinement.

The legislation also aims to establish programs to head off repeat offenders and protect first-time non-violent offenders from harsh mandatory minimum sentences.

Earlier this year, the House passed a bipartisan bill focusing on prison reforms, which did not include sentencing reforms.

With little time as Congress tries to wrap up its session this month, Senate proponents are hoping their broader version is accepted by the Republican-controlled House.

The United States leads the world in prison population, with about 2.2 million people incarcerated at the end of…

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