In a year full of political division, the federal criminal justice reform bill signed by President Trump last Friday was a rare bipartisan effort.
The Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act — or First Step Act — had support from various lawmakers and groups, and was championed by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
It enacts prison and sentencing reforms, giving judges more leeway in sentencing, retroactively applying earlier sentencing reforms and paving the road for earlier pre-release custody for certain inmates. However, the First Step Act only extends to the federal prison system, meaning that nearly 90 percent of inmates will not be affected.
So what will be the actual impact of the bill on California? We discuss.
Don Specter, executive director of the Prison Law Office, non-profit public interest law firm that provides legal services to prisoners, based out of Berkeley