On Tuesday night, a Republican-dominated Senate passed First Step, paving the way for the criminal justice reform bill to clear the House and be signed into law by Donald Trump. The bipartisan bill, which was overwhelmingly passed in an 87-12 vote, is widely considered to the most substantial legislation affecting the federal prison system in decades. As the New York Times reports, the legislation packages together a number of reforms aimed at reducing recidivism and draconian sentences for people locked up in federal prisons. Under the bill, thousands of federal inmates will be able to have their sentences reduced immediately, and early-release programs and job training will be expanded. Mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders would also be reduced, and judges will be given more freedom to go around mandatory minimums. The bill also ends the practice of shackling pregnant inmates in federal prison, as well as prohibits juvenile solitary confinement in “almost … [Read more...] about First Step Is One of the Biggest Criminal Justice Reforms in Decades. But How Great Will Its Effect Be?