3,000 People Released From Federal Prison Due To The First Step Act
Some inmates will be transferred to state or ICE facilities.
July 24, 2019 at 11:32 pm
More than 3,000 federal inmates were released from prison Friday, months after the First Step Act was signed into law by President Trump. The law retroactively initiated a recalculation of the number of days inmates accrue each year for good behavior.
At a Department of Justice news conference Friday morning, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen also announced that, for the remainder of the fiscal year, $75 million is being redirected from existing Justice Department programs to fund the First Step Act.
"Using top-of-the-line research, people and technology, the Department intends to implement this law forcefully, fully and on time, with the goal of reducing crime, enhancing public safety and strengthening the rule of law," Rosen said at the news conference, according to CNN.
CNN also reported that nearly 900 of the prisoners will be transferred into state or immigration custody as a result of a detainer placed on them, including 650 who will be moved to ICE facilities and entered into deportation proceedings.
With the news of the mass release, some advocates, like Inimai Chettiar, the legislative and policy director of the Justice Action Network, were pleased but are still looking for more to be done.
"This is good news, and we're happy to see that it's starting to be implemented, but we think more needs to be done, and we think Congress needs to provide that oversight," Chettiar said in a statement to CNN.
Even with worries of problems that may arise in the future, the Van Jones-cofounded bipartisan initiative, #cut50, celebrated the move on Twitter.
“This is a historic moment for our country and criminal justice reform advocates. We couldn’t be happier to see people return home to their loved ones," the tweet said. “We are so excited to welcome home members of our communities and look forward to the impact they’ll be making."
Today, more than 2,200 incarcerated men and women are being released from federal prison under the First Step Act!!! 🙌🏼🙌🏽🙌🏾🙌🏿— #cut50 (@cut_50) July 19, 2019
This is a historic moment for our country and criminal justice reform advocates. We couldn't be happier to see people return home to their loved ones. pic.twitter.com/h2OTq2UrgL
According to PBS, the $75 million that was diverted was used for care, programming and administrative tasks to put the First Step Act in place. Funding levels have not been established yet for 2020 and beyond.