Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700
FAMM Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of the First Step Act
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring released the following statement in honor of the first anniversary of the First Step Act:
“This holiday season thousands of people will be home celebrating with their families for the first time in years, and for some, in decades, thanks to the passage of the First Step Act. It has been an extraordinary year meeting so many people and families who have benefited from the bill. We recognize that we have so much further to go to reform our criminal justice system, but this year showed us that the First Step Act was indeed a good first step in the right direction.”
The First Step Act comprised several overdue sentencing and prison reforms that have provided some relief to tens of thousands of people in federal prison. According to recent reports from the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, since the First Step was enacted:
• Approximately 2,000 people serving excessive sentences for crack cocaine have received sentence reductions because of the act’s provision making the Fair Sentencing Act retroactive. The average sentence reduction was 70 months. This one provision has shaved a total of nearly 12,000 years of unnecessary prison time from people’s sentences;
• More than 3,000 people were granted immediate release due to the law’s increase in good time credit. More than 150,000 will eventually receive additional time off due to this provision and come home early;
• More than 100 very sick and elderly people have received compassionate release, thanks, in part, to the reform that allows prisoners to appeal denials of their requests for early release to the courts.
To arrange interviews with any of the First Step Act beneficiaries or to speak with an expert about the bill and its impact contact Rabiah A. Burks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies in 6 states and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.