Ask President Biden to Enforce First Step Act

Ask President Biden to Enforce First Step Act

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Victory Foundation started this petition to President of the United States and

 

It's now up to President Joe Biden to implement the First Step Act as it was written — even though Trump is claiming credit for it.

In its outgoing announcement of then-President Donald Trump's accomplishments, the White House listed the First Step Act as “the first landmark criminal justice reform legislation ever passed to reduce recidivism and help former inmates successfully rejoin society.”

Anyone who wants to attribute any positive accomplishments to Trump shouldn't include the First Step Act among them. The Trump administration followed neither the letter nor the spirit of the law.

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Interestingly enough, the White House implicitly acknowledged that the extent of Trump’s efforts on the First Step Act was to sign it: even his farewell address admits that it was “passed” (which is Congress' job) and doesn't mention its implementation, which is largely the role of the executive branch


Implementation of the law is where it would have had a demonstrable effect on the people it was meant to help; it's also the part the executive branch is wholly responsible for, and the part the Trump administration has repeatedly failed at, causing many inmates to have to resort to court intervention.

As one might expect, whatever Trump giveth with one hand, he taketh away with the other.

It's now up to President Joe Biden to implement the First Step Act as it was written — even though Trump is claiming credit for it.

Plenty of smart people have fallen for Trump's tale: Last September, The New York Times published a “Fact-Checked List of Trump Accomplishments” and called the law a success; fully five of the 123 listed successes dealt with the law. Heck, even we begrudgingly credited Trump with doing something moral because of his support for the bill.


But, as one might expect, whatever Trump giveth with one hand, he taketh away with the other. 

The law has two main objectives; to provide reductions in some federal sentences; and to incentivize people's participation in rehabilitative programming. Like so much that is Trump, the law is inherently transactional: In exchange for 54 days off in “earned time credits” for every year of their sentence, federal inmates must complete classes and work at their prison jobs.

But the federal government isn’t giving inmates the credits they’ve earned: The process of granting credits was supposed to start last January, but inmates are already getting stiffed.

It's now up to President Joe Biden to implement the First Step Act as it was written.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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