What's Really in the First Step Act
Marshall Project by Justin George
Nov 16, 2018
Hailed by supporters as a pivotal moment in the movement to create a more fair justice system, endorsed by an unlikely alliance that includes President Donald Trump and the American Civil Liberties Union, the First Step Act is a bundle of compromises. As it makes its way through Congress it faces resistance from some Republicans who regard it as a menace to public safety and from some Democrats who view it as more cosmetic than consequential
What the Latest Bipartisan Prison Reform Gets Wrong and Why It Matters
Truth Out by Dan Berger
Nov 16, 2018
...Passage of the bill would be a major victory for Trump. A number of liberal and progressive commentators have gone all in on the legislation, which has been heavily shaped by Jared Kushner and Koch Industries attorney Mark Holden. CNN commentator and Cut50 cofounder Van Jones praised Trump. “Give the man his due,” Jones tweeted, saying the president is “on his way to becoming the uniter-in-Chief on an issue that has divided America for generations.”
Yet, regardless of who is “uniting” around its passage, the bill itself is both weak and dangerous. While it offers a few token reforms — some of them, like the end of shackling for pregnant and post-partum women in federal custody, necessary and long overdue — it leaves many of the most pressing issues off the table. It barely makes a dent in terms of reducing the length of prison sentences or reducing the number of people in prison. Meanwhile, it heightens the use of racist and classist assessment mechanisms and expands the net of surveillance.
A Real Chance at Criminal Justice Reform
New York Times - the editorial board
Nov 14, 2018
Perhaps it’s a coincidence that a new criminal justice reform proposal has emerged in the Senate less than a week after the departure of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Bipartisam Sentencing Overhaul Moves Forward, but Rests on Trump
New York Times - Nicholas Fandos and Maggie Haberman
Nov 12, 2018
The latest compromise was crafted by Senators Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa; Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois; and Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, in conjunction with Mr. Kushner. Those senators won a promise from Mr. Trump in August that he would consider backing a bill during the lame-duck session. Mr. Grassley, the Judiciary Committee chairman, and another senior Republican on that committee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have lobbied Mr. Trump in the months since.
Congress's prison reform bill, explained
The First Step Act has Trump's support - but faces some Democratic opposition
Vox by German Lopez
May 22, 2018
... The bill would not reform or reduce how long people are sentenced to prison for, which has been the prime target of criminal justice reformers over the past few years. Instead, the bill focuses on rehabilitating people once they’re already in prison by incentivizing them, with the possibility of earlier release, to partake in rehabilitation programs. As Kushner explained at the White House summit, “The single biggest thing we want to do is really define what the purpose of a prison is. Is the purpose to punish, is the purpose to warehouse, or is the purpose to rehabilitate?”
What this is about
Learning asks us to change – so that the world might be a place for all are free to thrive