Federal Bureau of Prisons Scheduled to Set Free 3,100 Prisoners on Friday as a Result of the FIRST STEP Act
WASHINGTON, DC—Prison Fellowship®, the nation's largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, is applauding today's move by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in recognizing that more than 3,100 prisoners across the nation have completed their just sentences based on good behavior policy included in a provision in the FIRST STEP Act (FSA).
"This is the next important phase in the full implementation of the FIRST STEP Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that President Trump signed with great fanfare in late 2018," said Craig DeRoche, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy with Prison Fellowship. "Already, FSA has advanced more proportional punishment, resulting in 1,386 sentence reductions and 1,023 people returning home. But even with these important steps, much remains to be done."
"The White House is working hard to identify reentry resources and potential employers, so that these men and women can have meaningful opportunities not only to avoid additional prison time, but also to be thriving, contributing members of their communities," said Heather Rice-Minus, Vice President of Government Affairs and Church Mobilization with Prison Fellowship. "It's imperative, however, that the Bureau of Prisons focus on expanding effective program opportunities, including faith-based programs like the Prison Fellowship Academy, for those still behind bars in our federal prisons."
U.S. Attorney General William Barr has also revealed a new risk-assessment tool that will help evaluate the risks and needs of federal prisoners, allowing the BOP to better customize programming to help reduce the risk of recidivism for each prisoner. Barr has confirmed that the Justice Department and the BOP are both "all in—in terms of making it work."
THE FIRST STEP ACT
The FIRST STEP Act is the first step in transforming federal prisons into safe and effective facilities that will reduce recidivism and strengthen our communities and economy. The legislation expands rehabilitative programming and earned-time credit opportunities. It also reduces and clarifies mandatory minimums and better provides for the needs of federal prisoners.
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Prison Fellowship is the nation's largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, and a leading voice for criminal justice reform. With more than 40 years of experience helping restore men and women behind bars, Prison Fellowship advocates for federal and state criminal justice reforms that transform those responsible for crime, validate victims, and encourage communities to play a role in creating a safe, redemptive, and just society.