Much healing is needed in America and the FIRST STEP Act, HR 5682 (and companion bill SB 2795),
is an excellent first measure toward reducing recidivism rates, encouraging prison reform nationwide and implementing strong second chance policies for offenders of the law.
Many states including Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas have implemented successful reform programs which have led to fewer emprisonment and lower crime rates and the FIRST STEP Act intends to capitalize on these successful resources to design a national prison reform program. The bill, if passed, would require the attorney general to develop a risk and needs assessment system which would be used to assess each offender who enters the federal corrections system. Each offender would be evaluated and classified as low, medium or high risk of recidivism then, based on the classification, prisoners would be allowed to participate in programs designed to allow them to earn incentive credits. The accumulation of these credits, based on successful completion of programs and assessments, would lead to the option of pre-release custody such as home confinement, halfway houses and community supervision. The program and assessment policies would be developed by the attorney general for federal prison wardens who would ...