The First Step Act and Giving Inmates A Second Chance

Alyssa Urff, Sahuaro News Editor

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With the idea that thousands of people are put in jail for “petty” or “minor” offenses and crime, Trump and his administration are trying to solve that problem. The First Step Act, first introduced in 2018, is now underway with a new budget plan.

Trump signing the bill (Source: Google Images)

The act is planning on creating rehabilitative programs with 16,000 prisoners already enrolled in drug treatment programs. The act proposes fair sentencing to reduce harsh sentences. It also includes housing inmates closer to family members rather than across the nation or state. Finally, it also grants $500 million for education grants, job training, and more rehabilitative programs.

It is only finally being enacted in 2019 as the budget has changed and allowed for parts of the program to start this year. The act has been widely supported because “2.2 million Americans have been incarcerated, which means for every 100,000 there are 655 that are currently inmates. This costs the United States government $80 billion dollars a year.  Celebrities and “influencers” have taken to the media like Isaiah Washington, as seen on Grey’s Anatomy and The 100, thanking Trump.

Trump celebrated the act with a party for some of the ex-convicts. On Monday April 1, he hosted a party for those who earned their early release. Both the conservatives and liberals have seemed to agree that this a step forward for fixing the prison system. 500 inmates have already been released across the county with more on the way.

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