First Step Act – Revised 2022

First Step Act – Revised 2022

Reduction in Recidivism

Requires the Attorney General to develop a risk and needs assessment system

  • The BOP assess the recidivism risk and criminogenic needs of all federal prisoners
  • Place them in recidivism reducing programs
  • Including productive activities to address their needs and reduce this risk.
  •  Under the act, the system provides guidance on the:
    • type,
    • amount, and
    • the intensity of recidivism reduction programming and
    • productive activities to which each prisoner is assigned, including
    • information on which programs prisoners should participate in based on their criminogenic needs.
    • on how to group, to the extent practicable,
      • prisoners with similar risk levels together in recidivism reduction programming and
      • housing assignments.
  • The Act also amends 18 U.S.C. § 4042(a), requiring the BOP to assist inmates in:
    • applying for federal and state benefits and
    • obtain identification, including a
      • social security card,
      • driver’s license or
      • other official photo identification, and
      • birth certificate.
  • The First Step Act also expands the Second Chance Act to deliver recidivism reduction programming.

Incentives for Success

  • The Act amended 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b), so that federal inmate can earn:
    • up to 54 days of good time credit for every year of their imposed sentence
    • rather than, for every year of their sentence served.
    • For example, you’re sentenced to 10 years, your maximum good time credit = 540 days.
    • These good-time credits go towards pre-release custody.
    • Ineligible for good-time credit are generally categorized as:
      • violent, or involve
      • terrorism,
      • espionage,
      • human trafficking,
      • sex and sexual exploitation; additionally
      • excluded offenses are a repeat felon in possession of a firearm, or
      • high-level drug offenses
      • For a more complete list, see disqualifying offenses

Confinement

  • 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b) requires the BOP to house inmates in facilities within 500 driving miles of their primary residence.
  • The BOP variety of factors goes into placement, including:
    • bed space availability,
    • security designation,
    • programmatic needs,
    • mental and medical health needs,
    • any request made by the inmate related to faith-based needs,
    • recommendations of the sentencing court, and
    • other security concerns.
  • The FSA reauthorizes and modifies a pilot program that allows the BOP to place certain elderly and terminally ill prisoners on home confinement to serve the remainder of their sentences.

Correctional Reforms

  • Criminal justice-related provisions, including;
    • prohibition on the use of restraints on pregnant inmates in the custody of BOP and the U.S. Marshals Service.
    • requirement the BOP to provide tampons and sanitary napkins for free
    • The FSA requires BOP to provide training to correctional officers and other BOP employees:
      • on how to interact and de-escalate encounters with people who are diagnosed with mental illness or other cognitive deficits.
      • Also included is a prohibition against the use of solitary confinement for juvenile delinquents in federal custody.

Sentencing Reforms

  • Changes to Mandatory Minimums for Certain Drug Offenders for some drug traffickers with prior drug convictions
    • the threshold for prior convictions that count toward triggering higher mandatory minimums for repeat offenders,
      • is reduced from the 20-year to a 15-year mandatory minimum,
    • The life-in-prison mandatory minimum (where there are two or more prior qualifying convictions),
      • to a 25-year mandatory minimum.
  • Retroactivity of the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA)
    •  Those who received longer sentences for crack cocaine than if sentenced for possession of powder cocaine can submit a petition in federal court to have their sentences reduced.
  • Expanding the Safety Valve

FEMALE PATTERN RISK SCORING

MALE PATTERN RISK SCORING

Violent Offense Codes for PATTERN Risk Assessment *

Cut points used when calculating an inmates Risk of Recidivism

Dr. M Blatstein

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