In 2018, Senator Dick Durbin championed the landmark First Step Act, by being one of its lead authors and advocates. The Act was a massive step forward in United States prison reform. Among other things, the Act granted judges more judicial discretion in the sentencing of low-level, non-violent drug offenders, while simultaneously supporting inmate societal reintegration through targeted reentry programs.
Fast forward to 2021, Senator Durbin has now drafted the First Step Implementation Act of 2021, or S. 1014, which proposes implementation enhancements to the First Step Act. The 2021 Act builds off the groundwork laid in 2018. The Implementation Act corrects interpretation errors, changes key United States code safety valve qualifiers, proposes that the First Step Act apply retroactively to those who previously received stacked minimum sentences, allows judges more discretion in weighing the seriousness of the defendant’s record, expands transparency, expands inmate standing to complain in court, and allows for more leniency in the granting of juvenile sealing and expungement.
Senator Durbin’s First Step Implementation Act of 2021 has the full support and commendation of the Federal Sentencing Alliance.
What is the Federal Sentencing Alliance?
The Federal Sentencing Alliance is a national consortium of federal sentencing mitigation experts and legal technical writers, specializing in all related federal sentencing legal writing, federal plea agreement assessments, PSIR objections, U.S.S.C. Datafiles analysis, and federal sentencing mitigation investigation. The Federal Sentencing Alliance is a team of experts handling all aspects of federal sentencing mitigation, offering full investigative services nationwide at all stages of prosecution. The Federal Sentencing Alliance has published several books in this practice area, including numerous analyses of key provisions of the First Step Act of 2018 available online or from www.federalsentencingalliance.com.
The Federal Sentencing Alliance is passionate about assisting attorneys and clients in federal sentencing mitigation, as well as advocating for legislative changes to prison reform.
Ralph S. Behr
General Counsel, Federal Sentencing Alliance