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March 28, 2021

Senators Durbin and Grassley introduce new "First Step Implementation Act"

As detailed in this press release, on Friday "U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the lead sponsors of the landmark First Step Act (FSA), introduced the bipartisan First Step Implementation Act, legislation that aims to further implement the FSA and advance its goals." Here is more from the release:

“In 2018, Congress came together to pass the most important criminal justice reform laws in a generation.  The First Step Act passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities and was supported by a broad coalition of conservative and progressive groups alike,” Durbin said.  “I was proud to champion this landmark legislation with my friend and colleague, Senator Grassley.  Now we are committed to working together on a bipartisan basis to ensure that the First Step Act and its goals are successfully implemented.”

“Our 2018 criminal justice reforms were the most significant in a generation.  We ought to be doing all we can to ensure their proper implementation.  This new bill now also ensures we make good on the intent of the First Step Act, and further builds on the ideas that led to its passage,” Grassley said.

The First Step Implementation Act of 2021 would further the goals of the FSA by:

  • Allowing courts to apply the FSA sentencing reform provisions to reduce sentences imposed prior to the enactment of the FSA;
  • Broadening the safety valve provision to allow courts to sentence below a mandatory minimum for nonviolent controlled substance offenses, if the court finds the defendant’s criminal history over-represents the seriousness of the defendant’s criminal record and the likelihood of recidivism;
  • Allowing courts to reduce sentences imposed on juvenile offenders who have served more than 20 years;
  • Providing for the sealing or expungement of records of nonviolent juvenile offenses; and,
  • Requiring the Attorney General to establish procedures ensuring that only accurate criminal records are shared for employment-related purposes.

March 28, 2021 at 11:45 PM | Permalink


Hello, I am the mother of an incarcerated individual who received LWOP 26 years ago under the felony murder law, including the special circumstance. the crime happened during the course of a robbery. He was known not to be the shooter but received the maximum of all other 3 defendants, including the shooter. He was 18 years old at the time. He filed a 1437 petition and the court is waiting for other cases involving the special circumstance law before they approve or disapprove his petition. Would the First Step Act law, if passed in the senate help my son get resentenced or does it not apply to my son? Thank you for submitting this bill and supporting it. Hopefully it will get passed by Senate and signed by the governor. I am sure all three laws, if passed, will be very helpful to many incarcerated individuals and their loved ones.

Posted by: claudia henderson | Jun 16, 2021 3:18:47 PM

adding to my comment--if there is anything I can do to get these laws passed, please let me know.

Posted by: claudia henderson | Jun 16, 2021 3:20:33 PM

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