Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced bipartisan adoption by the House of Representatives of the “First Step Act” (S. 756). The bill provides a comprehensive package of reforms to federal sentencing guidelines and the federal prison system.
“This represents a necessary first step in addressing outdated and inequitable policies, reducing recidivism among inmates, and undoing a broken system that has led to mass incarceration,” said Congressman Higgins.
The legislation provides:
- Greater flexibility in sentencing
- Reforms to mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses
- Correction officer training
- Creation of a committee to evaluate risk assessment and provide recommendations for improvement
- Restrictions on juvenile solitary confinement
- Correction of the good-time credit to accurately reflect Congressional intent
- Evidence-based opioid treatment, employment assistance, mentoring and other programming that supports success upon returning to the community
The bill was approved in the House on December 20, 2018 by a vote of 358-36 and adopted by the Senate with a vote of 87-12 on December 18, 2018. The legislation will now move to the President’s desk for his signature.