Black Americans have overwhelmingly benefited from President Trump criminal justice reforms

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It might be hard to believe, but without President Donald Trump, we wouldn’t have The First Step Act – the most meaningful criminal justice reform in a generation. With the support of celebrities like Kim Kardashian West on hand, the President signed the legislation into law in 2018.

Thanks to President Trump, some very necessary reforms were made to our justice system, improvements came to the prison system, and inmates are now better prepared for reentry into our communities.

And it’s not just that: as a result of the First Step Act, more than 3,000 Americans have been released from prison – and 90% of those who have had their sentences reduced are black Americans. The First Step Act shortens mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, and it lets judges more say about mandatory minimum sentences.

President’s Trump’s law also allows offenders sentenced under racially motivated mandatory minimums – like those that were passed in the Biden Crime Bill in the 1990s – to petition for their cases to be re-evaluated.

Because of his work on this issue, President Trump was awarded the 2019 Bipartisan Justice award by the nonprofit 20/20 Bipartisan Justice Center. The President received this award for his “ability to work across the aisle to achieve meaningful progress in reforming our criminal justice system.”

President Trump is also working to get second chance hiring for former prisoners, who often have a tough time getting a job. This includes launching a “Ready to Work Initiative.”

These types of reforms aren’t typically what the Black community hears about Republicans – especially in Wisconsin – and it’s time we reassess how we vote. With Donald Trump as President, we have a leader who is willing to listen and work with those who know the issues we face. And on criminal justice reform, he’s done it and has the track record to prove it.

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Chris Lawrence is currently the 1st Vice Chair of the Milwaukee County Republican Party. Formerly, he worked in the Wisconsin Legislature for conservative Sen. Duey Stroebel where he oversaw all incoming communications, managed the senator’s schedule, and handled all constituent inquires. Chris has an extensive background in community organizing, event planning, and volunteer recruitment. He worked at Americans for Prosperity (AFP) from 2014-2017 where he started as a part-time canvasser and grew into the Senior Field Director, managing all AFP operations in Milwaukee County and overseeing part-time staff. While at AFP, he worked on some of the most successful issue campaigns in Wisconsin, including Right to Work, repeal of the prevailing wage, the REINS Act, and other pro-taxpayer reforms. Chris has a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his 3 daughters and son.