- by cnn
- 30 Nov 2023
President Joe Biden has ordered the federal prison sentences of 31 people to be reduced, punishments which were given to them after nonviolent drug-related convictions.
In an announcement released on Friday, the White House revealed that those whose sentences were commuted would be under home confinement until a 30 June expiration date for their respective punishments. The plan is for them to then be on supervised release, with the duration of that based on their original sentence.
Among those with commuted sentences were a handful of women and men who were convicted of drug possession in Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii and Texas. Most of the convictions involved methamphetamine. Others involved cocaine, heroin and marijuana.
The First Step Act is a 2018 bipartisan prison and sentencing reform bill that Donald Trump signed during his presidency which seeks to expand rehabilitative opportunities for people completing their incarceration.
In addition to increasing credits for time already spent in custody awaiting the resolution of cases as well as for good conduct in federal prison, the act reduces mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug-related crimes. It also officially bans a number of correctional practices, including the shackling of pregnant women.
The plan seeks to strengthen public safety by reducing unnecessary criminal justice interactions so police officers can focus on fighting crime, supporting rehabilitation during incarceration and facilitating a successful return to their communities, the White House said.
It went on to lay out a variety of ways the plan aims to support people in the federal justice system, including expanding healthcare access, securing access to safe and affordable housing, enhancing educational opportunities and improving access to food and subsistence benefits.
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