Prison Conditions

First Step Act Summary: Common Questions Answered

first step act summary

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…

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The First Step Act: Work in Progress

The First Step Act

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…

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Home Confinement | New BOP Policy Released | April 2019 Update

home confinement

Home confinement for federal prisoners is about to expand with the release of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) new April 4, 2019, Operations Memorandum, Home Confinement Under the First Step Act. You can access a copy of the entire operations memorandum here: BOP Home Confinement Memorandum. We have previously reported about the BOP’s implementation of…

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Sentencing Reform And Corrections Act vs. First Step Act

sentencing reform and corrections act, first step act

The House of Representatives recently passed the so-called “First Step Act,” which is very different from the “Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act” that is still bouncing around the Senate. I discussed in a previous article, the many details of the House’s “First Step Act” (First Step). Let’s take a closer look at the debate. Some…

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Federal Prison Oversight Hearing Much Ado About Nothing

federal prison oversight

On Wednesday, December, 13, 2017, the House Oversight Committee held a 2.5 hr long federal prison oversight hearing.  Many prisoners and their family members had hoped this hearing would hold the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) accountable for its recent decision to reduce or cancel federal halfway house placements for many prisoners. But the hearing,…

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Federal Halfway House – Everything You Need To Know

federal halfway house

Over the past several weeks, I have received numerous e-mails and calls from different individuals concerning federal halfway house placements that have been reduced significantly—or denied entirely—by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). What is going on? A variety of things, it seems. I.  Federal Halfway House – A Brief Overview The BOP has long…

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2017 Budget Gives Over $7 Billion To Federal Prison System

2017 budget

President Trump has signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, commonly known as the 2017 budget. The bill funds the federal government until the end of September 2017. In most businesses, the “fiscal year” runs from January 1 to December 31. However, the fiscal year for the federal government is from October 1…

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Leavenworth Guard Busted For Bringing Contraband In

prison contraband

Marc Buckner, a federal prison guard at USP Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas has plead guilty to accepting bribes from inmates. Buckner had been bringing contraband into the federal prison he worked. Buckner started working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1995. He was arrested in March 2014 by the FBI after tobacco, rolling papers,…

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Legal Mail Opened Outside Presence Of Inmate May Violate Sixth Amendment

legal mail

“Prisoners have a Sixth Amendment right to be present when legal mail related to a criminal matter is inspected,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held. See: Mangiaracina v. Penzone, No. 14-15271 (9th Cir. 2017). Nick Mangiaracina, an Arizona prisoner, sued jail officials after his properly marked legal mail was opened…

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