The False Promises of Criminal Justice Reform

During an ill advised viewing of the somewhat recent State of the Union Address I was surprised to see “tough on crime” Donald Trump praising “smart on crime” criminal justice reforms to raucous bipartisan applause. The First Steps Act, as recounted in this handy and very Vox-y explainer, packages together a number of sentencing reforms. The bill reduces drug sentences retroactively, increases “good time credits” and, most significantly allows inmates to shorten their sentences by participating in job training programs.

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