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What impact will federal criminal justice reform have?

There are many who feel the criminal justice system has terrible problems. It can be difficult to argue when prisons are over capacity and crime does not seem to be decreasing. There have been many attempts to revise laws and make changes to fix the issue, but none have really worked. According to The Hill, the FIRST STEP Act may help. While it is a federal law, it may help states like Georgia.

The FIRST STEP Act aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the justice system. Ultimately, the idea is to only sentence the criminals who have the most serious crimes to time behind bars. The Act works toward this by calling for the release of non-violent and low-level offenders. It also aims to help with assistance for prisoners to make it easier to reenter society.

Some states have already shown initiative through embracing changes of their own. This includes removing barriers that prevent former prisoners from getting occupational permits. There are changes that seal records for non-violent offenders with low-level crimes so they can more easily get a job. There are also an array of programs at the state level that help drug offenders. Some states have even reduce automatic license suspensions or revised license suspension guidelines to assist people who need to drive to get to work.

Reforming the criminal justice system will take time. It is not an easy process by any means. However, having reform at the federal level provides a good basis for states to get on board and make changes to help drastically improve the system. This information is for education and is not legal advice.