Blogs from January, 2019


What is the new Criminal Justice reform called the First Step Act?

Some things to know:

  • Why is reform necessary: The US has more people in prison than any other country in the world.
  • Will this new law significantly reduce prison populations? No

Prison Population Graph


The Criminal Justice reform includes:

  • It is a bill that received bipartisan support
  • It only affects federal inmates (but Florida is working on one too – more later)
  • The law makes a 2010 law retroactive – about 2600 prisoners will receive reduced sentences based on the elimination of crack/powder cocaine punishment disparity
  • Inmates receive greater “gain time”
  • Judges have more flexibility to sentence around “mandatory minimum sentences.”
  • Through rehab, inmates can be released sooner to halfway houses and home detention.

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