Published on: Thursday, October 28, 2021

Today, the Federal Public & Community Defenders sent a letter, available here, urging Senate leadership to pass four pending criminal justice reform bills:

  • The First Step Implementation Act. This bill would make certain sentencing reforms from the First Step Act of 2018 retroactive, modestly expand the safety valve, and make technical corrections to the First Step Act, in addition to other reforms.
  • The COVID-19 SAFER Detention Act. The COVID-19 Safer Detention Act would improve tools to reduce prison populations by expanding the use of home confinement for some older people, shortening the period individuals must wait before filing a motion for compassionate release during the pendency of the COVID-19 pandemic, and clarifying that individuals sentenced before November 1, 1987 are eligible for compassionate release.
  • Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act. The bipartisan Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act would prohibit federal sentencing courts from increasing a person’s punishment based on acquitted conduct.
  • Equal Act: The EQUAL Act (Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law) would eliminate the 18-1 crack-cocaine to powder-cocaine ratio.