SIMPLIFIED: What the Trump-Backed Criminal Justice Bill Will Actually Do

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As reported by Matzav, A Trump-backed bipartisan criminal justice bill passed the Senate Tuesday night by a margin of 87-12.

Why it matters: For years, advocates and lawmakers have worked to reform the federal prison system only to have their efforts fall apart at the last minute. But with the help of Jared Kushner in the White House and a bipartisan Senate coalition, the First Step Act has made it past the Senate and will now likely become law — impacting thousands of current federal inmates.

What’s next: The bill is going back to the House, where it is also expected to pass. The House passed a less expansive version of the bill earlier this year. After that it’ll head to the president’s desk for signature.

Details: The bill would…

  • Send up to 4,000 prisoners home by increasing the amount of time inmates can cut off of their sentences due to good behavior.
  • Allow more male and female inmates to serve time in house arrest or halfway homes instead of prison cells, with exceptions for high-risk inmates.
  • Require that prisoners be placed within 500 miles of family.
  • Outlaw shackling during child birth.
  • Mandate the provision of hygienic paraphernalia to female inmates.
  • Reduce the mandatory penalty from life to 25 years for a third conviction of certain drug offenses, and from 25 to 15 years for a second conviction.
  • Prohibit the doubling up, or “stacking,” of mandatory sentences for certain gun and drug offenses.
  • Give judges more discretion in giving less than the mandatory minimum for certain low-level crimes.
  • Make the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act retroactive, which changed sentencing guidelines to treat offenses involving crack and powder cocaine equally. This could impact nearly 2,600 federal inmates, according to the Marshall Project.

The big picture: This bill would impact the 180,789 people incarcerated in federal prisons, but many of the changes reflect reforms already implemented in many states.,




  1. What’s a criminal justice system if the biggest criminals, like Hillary Clinton, who committed every single crime under the sun, can roam free and are not even investigated? Why is she and her kind of “elite” criminals above the law? Is her blood redder than the rest of us?

    • Every single crime under the sun? The biggest criminal?

      I voted for the President, and would do it again today, but your comment makes you sound like a raving lunatic, and does not reflect well on the readership of this website – a group I am part of.

      There is a double standard when it comes to policing where well-connected individuals are often shielded from consequences, but you can make that point in a sensible way.

      • If Wikileaks revealed it, that’s what it is. Wikileaks is the only credible news source we have left. FYI WikiLeaks disclosures have been proven to be all true since they started.
        Which is why Hillary and the Dems want to get rid of Julian Assange.

  2. Why didn’t the 2 civil rights hero’s, Obama & Holder pass such a law? Why was it done by the evil white racist homophobic misogynist bigoted male chauvinist Donald Trump?

  3. Unfortunately the LEAST violent offenders Ie White Collar Criminals have the lowest popularity when it comes to having any mercy – even first time offenders. The reasons are multifold but regardless its a tragedy and travesty when an otherwise honest upstanding productive citizen who makes a mistake on taxes or on a mortgage application gets thrown the book. Prosecutors have ZERO accountability and there needs to be checks on their ENORMOUS power.

  4. The biggest problem in our justice system is prosecutorial misconduct. Until this problem is fixed our system will remain “broken”.


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