Federal Criminal Justice Reform Bill – The First Step Act (H.R. 5682) – Aimed at Reducing Recidivism and Reforming Federal Sentencing Laws

The House of Representatives has introduced “The First Step Act” aimed at reducing the recidivism of federal prisoners and other criminal justice reforms. The Act was passed in the House and was passed to the Senate for review.

The First Step Act calls for the development of a risk and needs assessment system that will determine the recidivism risk of each prisoner as part of the intake process and classify each prisoner as having minimum, low, medium or high risk for recidivism. Based on this classification, prisoners will be assigned to an appropriate “evidence-based recidivism program.” The programs are meant to be tailored to the specific criminogenic needs of each prisoner so as to effectively lower each prisoner’s risk of recidivism.

Under the Act, prisoners with similar classifications are to be housed together and prisoners will be incentivized and rewarded for participation in the recidivism programs. These rewards include phone privileges and additional visiting time, time credits, and potential transfer to an institution closer to the prisoner’s release residence. Many prisoners serving sentences for serious and violent offenses are ineligible to participate in the program.

Other provisions of the Act include a prohibition on using restraints on prisoners during pregnancy and postpartum recovery (with exceptions); placement of prisoners close to families; home confinement for low risk prisoners; increasing the use of compassionate release; providing identification for returning citizens; and expanding inmate employment.

For the full text of the Act visit:



The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Escovar Law, APC or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction. The information on this website is a communication and is for informational purposes only. The facts of every case are unique and nothing on this page or on this website should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and viewing of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. The result portrayed in this advertisement was dependent on the facts of this case. Results will differ if based on different facts.