Grand Rapid, MI – Today, Americans for Prosperity- Michigan (AFP-MI) celebrated the passage of the FIRST STEP Act, a package of critical criminal justice reforms. AFP-MI also praised Representative Justin Amash for supporting the Act. The FIRST STEP Act makes critical reforms to the federal criminal justice system by focusing on rehabilitating federally incarcerated people and giving them the tools needed to successfully reenter society upon release from prison.
AFP-MI state director Pete Lund issued the following statement:
“During this holiday season, we sincerely appreciate the gift which Rep. Amash has given the American people. Supporting the bipartisan FIRST STEP Act shows that Rep. Amash is dedicated to making commonsense and compassionate reforms that will empower federally incarcerated people to be closer to their families during their sentence, and better equip them to rejoin society upon release. Michiganders know that criminal justice reform should be smart-on-crime and soft-on-taxpayers. This makes us all safer and helps improve opportunities for people who deserve a second chance.”
The FIRST STEP Act requires the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to place inmates no more than 500 driving miles from home, helping spouses, parents, and children more practically visit their family members behind bars and making it easier for inmates to reintegrate into society upon release.
Fixes a mistake in federal law to ensure that all well-behaved prisoners not serving life sentences can accrue 54 days of “good time credit” off their sentences per year, instead of the 47 per year that 178,000 inmates currently receive.
Directs the BOP to let low-risk low-needs inmates serve home confinement for up to 6 months of the end of their sentences.
Retroactively applies the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the crack-cocaine sentencing disparity from 100:1 to 18:1, to current inmates.
Expands eligibility for the federal “safety valve” (18 U.S.C. § 3553(f)) to keep more low-level drug offenders from incurring mandatory minimums meant for high-level drug traffickers, creating more proportional punishments.