FIRST STEP Act Passage Praised by the Church of Scientology

National Affairs Office

Diverse religious groups supported bill, believing redemption is possible

There is no person alive who cannot make a new beginning.”
— L. Ron Hubbard

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, December 21, 2018 / -- FIRST STEP Act Passage Praised by the Church of Scientology

Washington, DC - The Church of Scientology’s National Affairs Office praised the passage of the historic FIRST STEP Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump. A wide variety of religious organizations worked in coalition on getting this criminal justice reform bill passed, in alignment with their faiths, including Scientologists, who for years have advocated for many of the reforms included in the final bill.

“As Scientologists we approach social issues such as criminal justice from the perspective of the writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard,” commented John Stanard, the Church’s Social Betterment Policy Director.
L. Ron Hubbard said in his book The Way to Happiness: “One can feel that things are such now that it is much too late to do anything, that one’s past road is so messed up that there is no chance of drawing a future one that will be any different: there is always a point on the road when one can map a new one. And try to follow it. There is no person alive who cannot make a new beginning.”

The FIRST STEP Act will require the federal Bureau of Prisons to expand and standardize programming designed to help reduce the risk of prisoners getting into trouble upon release from prison. Programs designed to help prisoners qualify for jobs once released will be created under the Act.

“Given that over 95% of those incarcerated today will eventually be returning to their communities, providing meaningful programming that allows individuals a chance at rehabilitation and education is a win-win for public safety as well as for the returning citizen,” Stanard noted.

The bill includes other welcome reforms, such limits on the practice of shackling incarcerated pregnant women in labor, enhancing compassionate release for terminally ill and elderly prisoners, as well as modest, but important, changes in overly harsh sentencing practices.

Among the most fundamental tenents of Scientology is that Man is a spiritual being whose essence is basically good. Scientology’s approach to criminal justice begins with the understanding that men and women can be rehabilitated and that punishment alone is not only unworkable but in fact worsens the condition of incarcerated people. The Church-supported criminal reform program, Criminon—whose curriculum is derived from Hubbard’s works is based on these exact principles.

“The Church will be continuing its advocacy work in collaboration with its national faith partners and other like-minded organizations to enact further, much needed reforms to improve the criminal justice system,” concluded Stanard.


John Stanard
Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
+1 202-667-6404
email us here

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