Notify me of follow-up comments by email. § 924(c) with their first criminal proceeding for a firearm violation. Lastly, society benefits because offenders are being rehabilitated and are thus better equipped to contribute to their communities and support themselves and their families and are less likely to reoffend. Here’s an overview of the First Step Act, who is impacted by this federal prison system reform, and what to expect going forward. This chapter of legislation aims to lower unemployment among former inmates to single digits within five years. The law marks a significant turning point in federal criminal justice reform. Supporters argue that the Act could result in 4,000 prisoners being released immediately upon implementation. Because it only affects the federal prison population, the Act itself has a relatively limited view in the larger criminal justice scheme. Although the Act requires a degree of ongoing transparency and analysis of how the Risk Assessment System is impacting prisoners, critics would like to have the system independently tested and analyzed before it is implemented. These offenses are generally more severe in nature and either have an element of violence or are repeat offenses. An optimist can view the FIRST STEP Act as an opportunity to develop bipartisan working-relationships on criminal justice issues and create momentum within Congress and within the criminal justice reform community to push for greater and more ambitious reforms. The First Step Act does not affect the vast majority of prisoners in the U.S. The First Step Act - A Pros and Cons List. Therefore, without a CBO score, claims that the Act will save money while reducing recidivism are not backed by an independent evaluation of that claim. It also gives more protections to women inmates and prepares inmates for life after prison. And while these are all steps in the right direction, there is still much work to be done in regard to federal prison reform. with 10 Republican cosponsors and 9 Democratic cosponsors, ultimately passing on a 360-59 vote with 134 Democrats voting in favor of it and the remainder of votes coming from Republicans. The reasons for the disagreement vary between groups and organizations. What are the pros and cons of the ACT? The last time a federal prison reform bill was passed by Congress was thirteen years ago. Report: Tallying Votes Could Take Weeks Thanks To Common Core Counting Method, Confessionals Installed Outside Polling Places So Catholics Can…, Biden Tells Aides To Wake Him Up When Results Start Coming In, Man Stands In Long Line Run By Government To Vote For Government To…. Unfortunately, many prisoners are placed in BOP facilities that are thousands of miles from their residences, hometown, or where their families live. Subscribe our newsletter to stay updated. We have developed a list of pros and cons for informational purposes to better educate our supporters and the general public. It is expected to change the lives of an estimated 30 percent of the federal prison population over the next decade by slashing sentences, curbing mandatory minimums, improving prison conditions and reducing recidivism rates. Without support from Sen. Grassley, the bill is likely to never make it out of committee. I have nothing but respect for law-enforcement officials, who put themselves in danger every single day in order to protect the public. FIRST STEP stands for “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person.” Its goal is very straightforward: to give deserving prisoners the opportunity to get a shortened sentence for positive behavior and job training, and giving judges and juries the power that the Constitution intended to grant … The Act increases the amount of “time credits” a prisoner can earn and provides $50 million a year over five years to support more vocational/rehabilitation programs.
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