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December 6, 2023

CCJ releases additional short reports on the impact of the First Step Act on recidivism and time served

I flagged in this post from August this notable new report authored by Avinash Bhati and published by the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ) titled "First Step Act: An Early Analysis of Recidivism."  Today, CCJ released two new analyses of the FIRST STEP Act's impacts also done by Bhati, and here are the titles, links and introduction:

"Technically Speaking: Accounting for Technical Violations in First Step Act Recidivism"

A previous Council on Criminal Justice report, First Step Act: An Early Analysis of Recidivism, found that people released from prison under the First Step Act (FSA) had a recidivism rate 37% lower than similarly situated individuals (i.e., similar risk levels and time since release from prison) who were released prior to the Act’s implementation. Using newly available data, this brief adds further context to the recidivism analysis by distinguishing recidivism due to technical violations of supervision rules from recidivism attributed to new criminal activity.

"Time Sentenced and Time Served: Exploring the Impact of the First Step Act"

Passed in 2018, the First Step Act (FSA) was designed to reduce reoffending among people leaving federal prisons.  A previous Council on Criminal Justice analysis, First Step Act: An Early Analysis of Recidivism, found that individuals released from Bureau of Prison (BOP) custody under the FSA had lower recidivism rates than similarly situated people who were released prior to the Act’s implementation.  An additional analysis, Technically Speaking: Accounting for Technical Violations in First Step Act Recidivism, further contextualizes the recidivism rate reported for people released under the FSA. It distinguishes recidivism due to technical violations of supervision rules from cases involving new criminal activity.

This analysis examines the impact of the FSA on the amount of time served by people released under the law.  Several provisions of the FSA provide opportunities for eligible people to reduce the amount of time they serve in federal prisons; such opportunities include an expansion of sentence credits and compassionate release, among others. Provisions of the FSA are summarized in a Congressional Research Service brief.

December 6, 2023 at 04:43 PM | Permalink

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