FreedomWorks Statement in Response to Senate Passage of the Fair Chance Act in the NDAA Conference Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to the Senate’s passage of the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020, which included an important criminal justice reform measure, the Fair Chance Act, Jason Pye, FreedomWorks’ vice president of legislative affairs, commented:

“The First Step Act offered a series of vital criminal justice reforms to reduce recidivism and overhaul some federal sentences for drug offenses. As criminal justice reform advocates noted at the time President Trump signed the First Step Act into law, there is so much more work to be done.

“A criminal record is often a barrier to employment and can increase the likelihood of reoffending. The Fair Chance Act will allow those with a criminal record to get their foot in the door in a federal job or a federally contracted job by delaying background checks until the conditional offer phase. Republican governors in Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma have implemented similar ‘Fair Chance Hiring’ policies for public-sector jobs.

“Although Congress has more work to do on criminal justice reform, particularly on record-sealing and expungement, the Fair Chance Act is another laudable step in the right direction.”