A trio of juvenile sentencing reform bills that would give federal judges increased discretion when sentencing minors were introduced this week by an Arkansas congressman.

If passed, it would be the first federal legislation to recognize that children who are sex trafficked and abused are victims themselves and that no juvenile deserves to die behind bars.

The trio of bills were introduced by U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, Fourth District congressman for Arkansas.

One of the bills, named "Sara’s Law" after Sara Kruzan, recognizes that girls and boys trapped in sex trafficking may resort to violence to escape, a staffer for Westerman's office explains.

"Current law all but mandates that they receive a harsh sentence, often decades in prison after already experiencing years of abuse," Westerman stated. "Sara’s Law would provide a way for minors to receive justice as well as space to heal." 

Reforming the juvenile sentencing process is "overdue in the U.S," the congressman added.

“It’s almost like they are being abused twice,” the congressman told Huffington Post writer Angelina Chapin for her article Thursday. “They’ve obviously had their rights infringed upon by traffickers or sexual offenders, and then they are being punished by the justice system for a lot of times, what I would classify as self-defense.”

National Review writer Jack Crowe also documented the bills' introduction Thursday with an observation from CNN commentator Van Jones giving a nod to conservatives for addressing criminal-justice-reform.

“The conservative movement in this country, unfortunately from my point of view, is now the leader on this issue of reform,” Jones told a crowd at last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Crowe wrote. “That was supposed to be my issue.”

This juvenile sentencing reform package contains three bills, H.R. 1949, H.R. 1950 (Sara’s Law) and H.R. 1951.

H.R. 1949 prohibits federal judges from sentencing juveniles to life in prison without parole. Juveniles sentenced to life in prison would be guaranteed a parole hearing after serving 20 years. It also brings federal law into compliance with the 2012 Supreme Court decision Miller v. Alabama.

H.R. 1950 increases the discretion of federal judges sentencing juveniles for crimes associated with sex trafficking, sexual abuse, or sexual assault. The bill provides that juveniles found guilty of crimes against persons who sexually trafficked, abused, or assaulted them shall not be required to serve the mandatory minimum sentence otherwise associated with the crime, and that the presiding judge may suspend any portion of an otherwise applicable sentence if the circumstances so warrant.

H.R. 1951 directs federal judges to consider “the diminished culpability of juveniles compared to that of adults” when sentencing those who committed crimes as juveniles. It also allows federal judges to downwardly depart from mandatory minimum sentences by up to 35 percent if such a departure is deemed appropriate based on the juvenile’s age and prospects for rehabilitation.