What is the First Step Act?

The First Step Act is an acronym for the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act. It is expected to change the lives of an estimated 30 percent of the federal prison population over the next decade by slashing sentences, curbing mandatory minimums, improving prison conditions and reducing recidivism rates. The Act was approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and was signed by the President in December of 2018.

Who Does First Step Act Impact?

The First Step Act does not affect the vast majority of prisoners in the U.S. It only applies to inmates in federal prison. It doesn’t apply to prisoners convicted of state crimes and housed in state prisons. Of the 2.1 million people incarcerated in U.S. prisons, only 180,000 are federal inmates.


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