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Senate passes sweeping criminal justice overhaul

Posted at 7:45 PM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 21:46:02-05

WASHINGTON — The Senate has passed a sweeping criminal justice overhaul supported by groups on the left and right, handing President Donald Trump a victory as Congress prepares to adjourn for the holidays.

The bill gives judges more discretion when sentencing some drug offenders and boosts prisoner rehabilitation efforts. It also reduces the life sentence for some drug offenders with three convictions, or "three strikes," to 25 years. The changes would only apply to federal prisoners.

The Senate vote is the culmination of years of negotiations aimed at addressing concerns that the nation's war on drugs has exploded the prison population without helping people prepare for their return to society.

The vote in the Senate Tuesday was 87-12.

President Donald Trump is hailing the passage of the bill.

Trump tweets, "America is the greatest Country in the world and my job is to fight for ALL citizens, even those who have made mistakes."

He says, "This will keep our communities safer, and provide hope and a second chance, to those who earn it.

Trump adds, "I look forward to signing this into law!"