The First Step Act, prison reform and the deep roots of mass incarceration [salon.com]

 

When President Donald Trump endorsed a prison reform bill titled the First Step Act in mid-November, it revived both bipartisan legislation that had seemed doomed and a national political debate about mass incarceration.

The bill targets federal prisons — which incarcerate more than 180,000 individuals — and would allocate more funding to anti-recidivism programs, make certain offenders eligible for early release, reduce mandatory-minimum sentences for some drug crimes and apply the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 retroactively. (That legislation reduced the sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine, two forms of the same drug, from 100:1 to 18:1.)

The bill would also ban, under most circumstances, the shackling of pregnant inmates and mandates that individuals could not be incarcerated more than 500 miles away from their immediate families.

[For more on this story by RACHEL LEAH, go to https://www.salon.com/2018/12/...-mass-incarceration/]

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