Next Steps in Justice Reform After the First Step Act Amid COVID-19 Crisis
The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated strains on all parts of our justice system from police officers on the frontlines to federal prisons. With the passage of the First Step Act signed by President Donald Trump in December 2018, the federal government moved in the direction of dozens of states that have sought to reduce the size, scope, and cost of their systems while still protecting public safety. Amid the current crisis, calls have grown to take additional steps at the federal, state, and local levels, as many advocates worry about the impact of COVID-19. For example, U.S. Attorney General William Barr has ordered the release of hundreds of elderly and infirm individuals based on geriatric release provisions in the First Step Act and the most recent $2 trillion economic relief bill. As further actions are considered at all levels of government, join this call as we assess the impact of the First Step Act and what next steps are possible based on public safety and public health considerations.
Marc Levin, Chief of Policy & Innovation, Right on Crime, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Rafael A. Mangual, Fellow and Deputy Director of Legal Policy Contributing Editor, City Journal, The Manhattan Institute
Arthur Rizer, Director, Criminal Justice & Civil Liberties; Resident Senior Fellow, R Street Institute
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