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Trump signs Doug Collins’ bill on criminal justice reform
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This screen capture from C-SPAN shows Rep. Doug Collins shaking President Trump's hand during the signing ceremony for the First Step Act at the White House in Washington, DC, on Friday, Dec. 21, 2018.

President Trump signed into law on Friday Congressman Doug Collins’ justice reform bill, the First Step Act, a bill reminiscent of Georgia’s reforms under Gov. Nathan Deal.

“The First Step Act invests in what Americans value most fiercely — people. We know that lives can be redirected and redeemed, and we’re committing to doing that with tools that are proven to work,” Collins said in a statement.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Collins and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming support, after the Senate approved the bill 87-12 on Tuesday.

The act sets up access to “mental health counseling, education, vocational services and substance abuse treatment needed to help incarcerated individuals get back on their feet and become productive members of society,” Jeffries said. “It also provides retroactive relief for the shameful crack cocaine sentencing disparity that unfairly destroyed lives, families and communities.”

Collins also credited the president’s son-in-law, adviser Jared Kushner, with helping push the legislation through.

“Jared Kushner never lost sight ... His courage to take the political path less traveled has been instrumental in delivering us here today,” Collins said.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte also praised the bill’s passage.

“The First Step Act will help control corrections spending, manage the prison population, reduce recidivism, and ensure our system works more efficiently and justly, while also protecting our citizens from violent criminals,” Goodlatte said.

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