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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World urges Members of Congress to support the revised FIRST STEP Act (S. 3649) and commends Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) for ensuring this legislation includes key sentencing reforms. This bipartisan legislation addresses unjust sentencing laws and provides returning citizens with the skills they need to succeed.
“As its name implies, the FIRST STEP Act is only an initial step towards criminal justice reform,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Reforming the criminal justice system is a work in progress and critical to ending hunger and poverty in the United States.”
The FIRST STEP Act reduces mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offences and gives judges more flexibility in sentencing. It provides for education, training, and treatment programs that will reduce recidivism to help people successfully reenter society.
While the FIRST STEP Act is an important first step, Bread is cautious that the risk assessment tool could be implemented in a way to have a disparate impact on communities of color. Bread is also concerned that the final legislation did not make all sentencing reforms retroactive.
“The risk assessment tool must account for existing racial and gender disparities in the criminal justice system,” said Marlysa D. Gamblin, domestic advisor for policy and programs, specific populations at Bread for the World Institute. “We look forward to working with lawmakers and the independent commission to help assist in applying a racial and gender equity lens in the design and implementation of the risk assessment tool to avoid disparate impact on men and women of color.”
Jesus says in Luke 10:27, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…and your neighbor as yourself.” When we understand the value and worth of our neighbors and ourselves, we will promote policies that emulate the justice of God’s kingdom.
Afghanistan would be considered likely to have high rates of hunger because at least two of the major causes of global hunger affect it—armed conflict and fragile governmental institutions.
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under 5. Every year, the world loses hundreds of thousands of young children and babies to hunger-related causes.
Bread for the World is calling on the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to build a better 1,000-Days infrastructure in the United States.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.