H.R. 5682, the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed 5 Safely Transitioning Every Person Act, or the First Step Act was introduced to the House of Representatives by Rep. Doug Collins [R-GA] on May 7, 2018 and was passed on May 23. This legislation mirrors Sen. Cornyn’s CORRECTIONS Act which was modeled after successful state-level reforms like those in Texas. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) cosponsored the FIRST STEP Act in the Senate, and Congressmen Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This legislation includes an expansion of markets for Federal Prison Industries. The bill authorizes Federal Prison Industries to sell products to new markets such as the District of Columbia government and nonprofit organizations.
FPI ranges in multiple different products such as furniture, including office furniture and furniture for college dormitories; clothing and textiles, such as military uniforms; electronics equipment; and plastic and metal goods, including eyewear and traffic signs and more. Due to the restrictions placed on government agencies by the FPI, government agencies are required to buy from the FPI for any of these products even if there are competitors with lower prices or better quality.
This piece of legislation affects many members of SGIA as well as many other businesses. SGIA will continue to follow the progress of the First Step Act through the U.S. Senate.
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