First story, U.S. President Donald Trump has voiced his support for a Prison Reform Bill that's currently making it's way through Congress.
It's called the "FIRST STEP Act". FIRST STEP standing for "Formerly Incarcerated Re-enter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person". That's a lot.
Here are some things it would do. One, it would reduce the number of mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes focusing on people convicted of non-violent drug related crimes. That could mean many inmates serve less time in prison. There's a way for prisoners to earn extra credit for behaving well and participating in things like educational, religious or job training programs that could help them get out sooner. But convicted murders and terrorists would not be eligible for that. And the act would attempt to place inmates in prisons that are closer to their homes as a way to increase opportunities for their families to visit them.
The White House says, this will help decrease the number of people in overcrowded prisons, decrease the costs of incarcerating criminals, make sentencing more fair and better prepare inmates to re-enter society as productive, law-abiding citizens.
But some critics and lawmakers have said, it doesn't go far enough to reform the criminal justice system. While others have said it goes too far without punishing criminals enough and potentially making communities less safe. The first act passed in the House of Representatives earlier this year with wide spread support from both Democrats and Republicans. The President's support is expected to encourage its passage in the Senate, possibly in the current lame duck session which wraps up in early January.