Collins Meets with Matthew Charles, First Step Act Beneficiary

Jan 29, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) met this afternoon with Matthew Charles, who was released from prison earlier this month after serving over 20 years in custody. The First Step Act, which President Trump signed into law in December, led to Mr. Charles' release. 

"There have always been faces woven into the lines of this bill. Matthew Charles is one of those faces, reminding us that investing in redemption can enrich families and communities," said Rep. Collins.

"With the First Step Act in place, men and women like Mr. Charles can access resources proven to help them become more productive citizens. I'm thankful Mr. Charles took the time to come to Capitol Hill and share his story with me today, and I look forward to seeing more redemption stories like his unfold."

In 1996, Matthew Charles was sentenced to 35 years in prison for drug-related offenses. While in prison, Mr. Charles took college courses and became a law clerk and a mentor for his fellow prisoners. He served his time in prison without a single disciplinary infraction.

Background: Rep. Doug Collins introduced the First Step Act on May 7, 2018.