It has been over eight months since the First Step Act of 2018 was enacted. I have consistently written about the First Step Act since it was adopted. But many people still have questions, and I have been repeatedly asked to provide a First Step Act summary. Fortunately, the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) finally released…Read More
The First Step Act – the first meaningful criminal justice reform in many years – is already beginning to make a positive difference in the lives of federal inmates and their families. Just last Friday, July 19, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release covering major developments in connection with the implementation…Read More
The issue of which constitutional safeguards apply to unlawful aliens has been a topic of heated discussion in recent years as the immigration situation continues to dominate national headlines. Many federal courts have danced around issuing clear holdings that define which rights apply to illegal aliens. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case U.S. v.…Continue Reading Firearm Laws Applied to Unlawful Aliens
What is the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018? President Trump recently signed into law the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018 (“AVAA”). The AVAA is named after some of the victims of child pornography who were among the most widely disseminated images identified by…Continue Reading The Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act of 2018
On December 21, 2018, the President signed into law the bipartisan First Step Act of 2018. The Law Office of Brandon Sample has assembled this detailed analysis of the First Step Act to help the public understand the ins and outs of the bill. If you are looking for a quick answer to your…Continue Reading First Step Act: A Comprehensive Analysis
I am pleased to report that the First Step Act has passed the U.S. Senate. The legislation faced a last minute test from three amendments posed by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and John Kennedy (R-AL). But ultimately, the Senate voted down each of the proposed amendments on a bipartisan basis. The first amendment was voted…Continue Reading First Step Act Passes Senate
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…Continue Reading First Step Act: There Will be a Vote
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.…Continue Reading McConnell Pressured to Allow Passage of First Step Act
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…Continue Reading First Step Act Prison Reform Bill Update
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…Continue Reading First Step Act FAQs: Criminal Justice Reform in Action
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…Continue Reading Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act – Is It Time?
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…Continue Reading Federal Sentencing Legislation: Is Jeff Sessions Wrong?
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…Continue Reading 6 Changes in the Sentencing Reform and Corrections 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…Continue Reading First Step Act - August 2018 Update
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…Continue Reading The First Step Act: All Your Questions Explained