A Christmas Miracle, The First Step Act – Ben Garrison Cartoon
Friday morning President Donald Trump signed into law a measure that amounts to the most significant changes to the criminal justice system in generations.
1. Federal prisons will also rehabilitate and heal – not just punish.
2. Thousands serving outdated sentences for crack cocaine charges can come home — and some wrong-headed components of the 1994 Crime Bill get scaled back..
3. Less obvious changes win big applause from people in federal prison and their families.
Right now, a federal prisoner can be sent to facilities thousands of miles from their families, making visitation nearly impossible. The First Step Act forces the Bureau of Prisons to place people in facilities within 500 driving miles of their loved ones, helping people maintain strong bonds despite incarceration.
4. Incarcerated women and juveniles will suffer less.
5. Congress will have new “sunshine” mechanisms to help hold the Bureau of Prisons accountable for public safety and racial disparities.
6. This is a rare clean bill that “does no harm.”
7. One of America’s most “tough on crime” Presidents has become a vocal proponent of “smart on crime” policies.