Synopsis of the First Step Act in Federal Criminal Cases

February 20, 2023

The First Step Act of 2018, also known as the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act,” is a federal law that aims to reduce recidivism and improve the reentry process for individuals returning to their communities after serving time in federal prison. The law includes a number of provisions that address issues such as sentencing reform, prison conditions, and rehabilitation and reentry programs.

The law includes changes to mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent drug offenses, and expands the “safety valve” provision, which allows judges to sentence individuals below the mandatory minimum in certain circumstances. This aims to reduce the number of individuals serving long sentences for non-violent offenses and to address the issue of mass incarceration.

The law also requires the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to conduct a risk and needs assessment for each individual in federal prison, and to place individuals in facilities that are closest to their families and communities. This aims to reduce the negative impact of long-term incarceration on individuals and their families. The law also requires the BOP to provide evidence-based rehabilitation programs, such as education and vocational training, to individuals in federal prison, in order to reduce recidivism and improve reentry outcomes.

The First Step Act also includes a number of provisions that address reentry and reintegration into the community. The law requires the BOP to provide pre-release custody to certain individuals, which allows them to serve the final portion of their sentence in a halfway house or home confinement. This aims to provide individuals with an opportunity to transition back to their communities before their release and to reduce recidivism. The law also requires the BOP to create a “compassionate release” program, which allows individuals who are terminally ill or elderly to be released from prison.

If you have been charged with a federal crime, then you need to retain a lawyer to protect your rights. Contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers to schedule a consultation with an experienced Orange County federal crimes attorney.

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