Legislation

First Step Act: There Will be a Vote

First Step Act

We have been covering the historic criminal justice reform bill called the FIRST STEP Act for some time now, and some big news just happened this week. On Tuesday, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky changed course and said that the Senate would vote on the FIRST STEP Act before the end of the year. Over…

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McConnell Pressured to Allow Passage of First Step Act

First Step Act Passage Image

It could be the most significant step in criminal sentencing and prison reform in a generation. But, the FIRST STEP Act faces one major obstacle standing in the way of passage – Kentucky Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. And this could be the one and only chance for this historic bill to pass.…

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First Step Act Prison Reform Bill Update

First Step Act Prison Reform Bill

A Tentative Deal in the Senate May Finally Pave the Way for the Most Substantial Rewrite of the Nation’s Criminal Justice Laws in a Generation. Having just worked our way through a blistering midterm election season, there is little question that our country is divided. Indeed, come January 2019, Congress will officially be divided with…

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First Step Act FAQs: Criminal Justice Reform in Action

First Step Act, criminal justice reform

On November 14, 2018, criminal justice and prison reform advocates finally heard what they had wanted to hear for almost a year: President Donald Trump is “thrilled to announce his support” for the bipartisan First Step Act criminal justice reform legislation. With President Trump’s support of this legislation the last true obstacle to the First…

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Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act – Is It Time?

sentencing reform and corrections act, federal sentencing reform

Is federal sentencing reform in the United States finally a viable possibility? With the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, maybe . . . just maybe. Faced with the stark reality that the United States’ prison population is the largest in the world, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the current Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee…

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Federal Sentencing Legislation: Is Jeff Sessions Wrong?

federal sentencing legislation image

A piece of federal sentencing legislation that was shot down several years ago is now back in play. Then federal sentencing legislation, titled the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, is meant to reverse the negative results of mass incarceration by pulling back on mandatory minimums and also providing much needed assistance to prisoners returning to…

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6 Changes in the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act

Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act Image

Although Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell has tried to kill the bill in the past, the drumbeat for a sentencing reform act is getting stronger and stronger. Indeed, even many of McConnell’s Republican colleagues see that sentencing reform is the fair and decent thing to do. That is because the sentencing picture in the United States…

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First Step Act – August 2018 Update

first step act

In May 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the First Step Act on a bipartisan vote of 360-59. Since then, the First Step Act has been assailed by some on the political right as being “soft on crime,” and on the political left for not going far enough to address unfair sentencing practices. I…

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The First Step Act: All Your Questions Explained

First Step Act (H.R. 5682)

On May 9, 2018, the House Judiciary Committee passed a bipartisan federal prison reform bill known as the First Step Act (H.R. 5682). The bill’s longer name is the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act.” The First Step Act was previously called the Prison Reform and Redemption Act. Before the First…

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Prison Reform And Redemption Act Set To Revamp BOP

prison-reform-and-redemption-act

A bipartisan group of representatives have introduced HR 3356, the Prison Reform and Redemption Act. The bill has seven cosponsors, one of whom is Mr. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)—the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. With Rep. Goodlatte supporting the bill, it has a greater chance of making it out of the Judiciary Committee. But the…

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CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM BILLS IN CONGRESS

criminal justice reform

1.      National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2017 (H.R. 1607 and S.573) A criminal justice reform bill that would create a national criminal justice commission has been introduced in the House and Senate. The text of the proposed bill states, “developments over the intervening 50 years require once again that Federal, State, tribal,…

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Sex Offenders May Challenge Miami Residency Restriction

sex offenders

Several sex offenders challenged on Ex Post Facto grounds a Miami ordinance that bans any “person who has been convicted of any one of several enumerated sexual offenses involving a victim under sixteen years of age from ‘resid[ing] within 2,500 feet of any school.’” Attribution: Billwhittaker at English Wikipedia The Eleventh Circuit held that the…

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