In the waning days of the 115th Congress, the first major criminal justice bill in eight years was passed.
The FIRST STEP Act was both a modest achievement in terms of the bill’s scope and a monumental victory merely because Congress did something. But what does the legislation that President Donald Trump signed actually say?
• It requires the Bureau of Prisons to house inmates within 500 driving miles of their home when possible. Regular contact with family can be a significant factor in reducing recidivism among inmates, but families often have to travel long distances at great expense to see incarcerated loved ones.
• It increases the amount of “good time” credits inmates can earn toward their release by avoiding disciplinary infractions, to a maximum of 54 days a year.
• It increases the amount of “earned time” credit inmates can amass by participating in job training and rehabilitative programs. The credits count toward early release to a halfway house or home confinement.
• It bans the shackling of pregnant female inmates. The Bureau of Prisons amended its policies in 2008 to forbid the practice, but there was no federal law against it. It’s already illegal in most states, although incarcerated women still report being shackled while in labor, even where it’s supposedly outlawed.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
WHY IS AMERICA STILL IN SYRIA?
TRUMP BROUGHT CHAOS TO A REGION ALREADY ON THE BRINK, AND THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF HIS ACTIONS WILL REVERBERATE FOR YEARS TO COME.
‘JOURNALISTS ARE AUTHORITARIANS'
Glenn Greenwald discusses what went wrong at the outlet he co-founded, what’s wrong with the ACLU, and what might go wrong in the Biden administration.
Trump Wasn't a Dictator, but He Played One on TV
THE 45TH PRESIDENT BUSTED NORMS LEFT AND RIGHT. BUT THE ABUSE OF EXECUTIVE POWER DIDN’T START AND WON’T END WITH HIM.
THE SILVER LINING IN BIDEN'S MASSIVE HOUSING PLAN
A DEMOCRATIC WHITE House and a Republican Senate might be the best of all worlds when it comes to federal housing policy.
PRESERVE YOUR SANITY BY PRESERVING FOOD
Canning is a hedge against uncertainty, an education in self-reliance, and a pocket of calm amid tumult.
IN DEFENSE OF COVID BILLIONAIRES
PEOPLE LOVE TO hate billionaires. And they really love to hate large pharmaceutical companies.
DON'T PACK THE COURT
JOE BIDEN SHOULDN’T REPEAT FDR’S BIG MISTAKE.
CONGRESS TARGETS AMAZON, APPLE, FACEBOOK, AND GOOGLE FOR BEING POPULAR
WITH FRESH FACES in the White House and Congress, many Trump-era political agendas will soon be discarded.
BIDEN PLEDGES TO REJOIN PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT
“TODAY, THE TRUMP Administration officially left the Paris Climate Change Agreement,” tweeted President-elect Joe Biden on November 4, 2020. “And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.”
A Silicon Curtain Descends
TRUMP ESCALATED AMERICA’S WAR AGAINST HUAWEI AND CHINA. BIDEN SHOULD BEWARE BURGEONING TECHNONATIONALISM.
Pack the Supreme Court, Or Strip Its Powers?
A proposal to restrict the court’s authority over certain laws stirs interest on the left
DOES MY EMPLOYER HAVE TO SAY IF A COWORKER HAS THE VIRUS?
Does my employer have to say if a coworker has the virus?
Stay on Course With Student Loans
‘We're In Dire Straits'
Minor League Baseball president paints bleak picture of minors’ future
COVID-19 PANDEMIC CHANGING INDUSTRY CONFERENCES & EVENTS
The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and many industries and businesses.
The Long View: John Lewis
The congressman and civil-rights legend will never lose hope.
TRAVEL MANAGEMENT PLANNING: We have the Upper Hand
Over the years, environmentalists have been successful at achieving goals through collective action.
FIRST COMMERCIAL SPACE TAXI A PIT STOP ON MUSK'S MARS QUEST
It all started with the dream of growing a rose on Mars.
What is Going on Here?
Government takeover? It looks like it to me. They shut down our economy, then left town. Went home. No more congress in Washington. No more leadership.
How to rescue America
To rescue America from the Covid-19 crisis, we’re going to need a lot more than a bailout