Criminal justice reform working, blacks benefit overwhelmingly
The first report of the impact on the bipartisan criminal justice reform package pushed by Jared Kushner shows that it is working to cut sentences, especially for black prisoners.
According to the just-released report on the First Step Act of 2018, the U.S. Sentencing Commission said 1,051 requests for a reduced sentence were granted in just the first four months since it was signed into law in December.
And overall, the average decrease was 73 month said the report, titled U.S. Sentencing Commission First Step Act of 2018 Resentencing Provisions Retroactivity Data Report.
What's more, said the commission, 91.3% of those granted a cut in prison time were African American and virtually all, 98%, were men.
U.S. Sentencing Commission
The key findings highlighted by the commission:
1,051 motions were granted for a reduced sentence.
78.9% of granted motions were made by the defendant, 11.8% by the attorney for the government, and 9.3% by the court.
Offenders received an average decrease of 73 months (29.4%) in their sentence.
The original average sentence was 239 months.
The new average sentence was 166 months.
The legislation generally shortens some drug sentences and expands rehab programs in prison, and only targets federal sentences. States are now following suit to pass reforms.
Criminal justice reform was one of Kushner's biggest victories and one in which he pulled together a bipartisan coalition on Capitol Hill, the media and even in Hollywood where celebrities have endorsed it.
It also helped the Fraternal Order of Police backed it.