Americans Released Under ‘First Step Act’ Praise POTUS: ‘Let’s​ Continue to Make America Great Again’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

At the Prison Reform Summit on Monday, President Donald Trump dedicated the month of April to the “First Step Act” and honored several people who were released by criminal justice reform.

“This landmark legislation will give countless current and former prisoners a second chance at life and a new opportunity to contribute to their communities, their states, and their nations,” Trump said at the event.

He continued later:

“The more I met and spoke with those involved in our criminal justice system, the more clear it became that unfair sentencing rules were contributing to the cycle of poverty and crime like really nothing else before.  It was time to fix this broken system — and it’s a system of the past — and to improve the lives of so many people.”

Watch the video below:

According to the president, within the past few months, over 500 people who faced unfair sentences have been released from prison, allowing them to start their lives.

Several people who’d been released by the First Step Act legislation include Catherine Toney, Gregory Allen, Troy Powell, Alice Johnson, and April Johnson.

Toney praised Trump as she was the first woman released by the criminal justice reform.

“First of all, I would like to thank God,” Toney said. “Then I would like to thank the President for signing the bill.”

She continued during her speech:

“… What I have to say is I feel as if the FIRST STEP Act needs to be fully implemented and it needs to be fully funded in order to make this step work. It’s so many people that we left behind that needs the same opportunity that we on this stage have. And if they had the full funding that this step need, it would be many of us on this stage. So I just want to thank everyone. And God bless you all.”

Additionally, Allen offered praise for the legislation and president, as well as using Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

“Two months ago, I was in a prison cell and I’m in the White House,” Allen said. “Let’s continue to make America great again.”

Watch the video below:

“In less than four months more than 500 people with unfair sentences have been released from prison and are free to begin a new life,” Trump said.

Powell spent 15 years in prison for a drug offense but was released on the First Step Act.

During his time in prison, he took courses and worked as an electrician, and since his release, Powell received a job by Boone Lumber Company in Lenoir, North Carolina.

During his time speaking on stage, Powell thanked everyone involved with passing the criminal justice reform legislation and said he “can’t thank everybody enough.”

Watch the video below:

April Johnson, who was given a second chance, also spoke during the event:

“I got compassionate release from my daughter. And because of that, I’ll be able to spend what time she has left with her. … She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in September and they have since gave her a grave prognosis. And because of the bill and FIRST STEP Act, I’ll be able to spend the rest of her time with her. And I thank you.”

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“I have to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, first,” Alice Johnson said. “And I want to thank our incredible President, President Donald John Trump.”

She thanked Trump for “believing” in her.

“I’m an example of a woman who has been given a second chance in life. There are so many others who deserve that same second chance.  And so I’m grateful for platforms like this, for events like this today, that magnifies that need — because somehow, when you see a face, when you see another human being like me who has been separated from their family almost 22 years, that changes things, that changes heart.

God bless you and God bless America.”

“If we work together for the common good, we can forge a future of even greater safety, opportunity, dignity, and freedom for the families across this incredible nation of ours,” Trump said.

What do you think?

Liz Cheney Flattens AOC in Twitter Spat, Offers to ‘Introduce’ Her to ‘the Basics of the Constitution’

Jordan Slams Dems More Focused on ‘Getting at This President’ With Mueller Report Than Helping Country