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Key Votes

S 756 - First Step Act of 2018 - National Key Vote


Issues Related to S 756

Stage Details

Legislation - Signed (Executive) -

Title: First Step Act of 2018

Legislation - Concurrence Vote Passed (House) (358-36) -

Title: First Step Act of 2018

Legislation - Concurrence Vote Passed (Senate) (87-12) - (Key vote)
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Title: First Step Act of 2018

Vote Result
Yea Votes
Nay Votes
Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to concur with House amendment and further amend a bill that amends criminal justice system.

  • Requires the Attorney General to conduct a review of the existing prisoner risk and needs assessment systems in operation on the date of enactment (Sec. 101).

  • Requires the Attorney General to develop recommendations regarding evidence-based recidivism programs and productive activities (Sec. 101).

  • Requires the Attorney General conduct ongoing research and data analysis of the following (Sec. 101):

    • Evidence-based recidivism reduction programs relating to the use of prisoner risk and needs assessment tools;

    • The most effective and efficient uses of such programs;

    • Which evidence-based recidivism reduction programs that are the most effective at reducing recidivism, and the type, amount, and intensity of programming that most effectively reduces the risk of recidivism; and

    • Products purchased by federal agencies that are manufactured overseas and could be manufactured by prisoners participating in a prison work program without reducing job opportunities for other workers in the United States.

  • Requires the Attorney General, in consultation with the Independent Review Committee, to develop and release publicly on the Department of Justice Website a risk and needs assessment system, to be used for the following (Sec. 101):

    • To determine the recidivism risk of each prisoner as part of the intake process, and classify each prisoner as having minimum, low, medium, or high risk for recidivism;

    • Assess and determine, to the extent practicable, the risk of violent or serious misconduct of each prisoner;

    • Determine the type and amount of evidence based recidivism reduction programming that is appropriate for each prisoner and assign each prisoner to such programming accordingly, and based on the prisoner’s specific criminogenic needs;

    • Reassess the recidivism risk of each prisoner periodically, based on factors including indicators of progress, and of regression, that are dynamic and that can reasonably be expected to change while in prison;

    • Reassign the prisoner to appropriate evidence-based recidivism reduction programs or productive activities based on the revised determination;

    • Determination when to provide incentives and rewards for successful participation in evidence-based recidivism reduction program programs or productive activities;

    • Determine when a prisoner is ready to transfer into prerelease custody or supervised release;

    • Determine the appropriate use of audio technology for program course materials with understanding of dyslexia.

  • Prohibits the placement of restraints on a prisoner in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, or in the custody of the United States Marshals Service beginning on the date on which pregnancy is confirmed by a healthcare professional, and ending at the conclusion of postpartum recovery (Sec. 301).

  • Exempts the following (Sec. 301):

    • An appropriate correction official, or a United States marshal, as applicable, makes a determination that the prisoner is an immediate and credible flight risk that cannot reasonably be prevented by other means, or poses an immediate and serious threat of harm to herself or others that cannot reasonably be prevented by other means; or

    • A healthcare professional responsible for the health and safety of the prisoner determines that the use of restraints is appropriate for the medical safety of the prisoner.

  • Specifies that these exemptions do not apply for the following (Sec. 301):

    • To place of restraints around the ankles, legs, or waist of a prisoner;

    • To restrain of a prisoner’s hands behind her back; or

    • To attach a prisoner to another prisoner.

  • Authorizes Judges leniency in sentencing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenders (Sec. 404).

  • Requires the Attorney General to make grants to states, local governments, territories, or Indian tribes, or any combination thereof, in partnership with interested persons, service providers, and nonprofit organizations for the purpose of strategic planning and implementation of adult and juvenile offender reentry projects (Sec. 502).

  • Authorizes the Attorney General to make a grant to an eligible entity of not more than $75,000 to develop a strategic collaborative plan for an adult or juvenile offender reentry demonstration project, that includes the following (Sec. 502):

    • A budget and budget justification;

    • A description of the outcome measures that will be used to measure the effectiveness of the program in promoting public safety and public health;

    • The activities proposed;

    • A schedule for completion of the activities; and

    • A description of the personnel necessary to complete the activities.


  • Prohibits the Attorney General to initial planning grants and implementation grants to 1 eligible entity in a total amount that is more than $1 million (Sec. 502).

  • Requires the Attorney General to make every effort to ensure equitable geographic distribution of grants and take into consideration the needs of underserved populations, including rural and tribal communities (Sec. 502).

  • Requires the Attorney General to give priority to grant applications that focus initiative on geographic areas with a disproportionate population of offenders released from prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities (Sec. 502).

  • Prohibits the amounts made available under a covered grant program from being used by any cover grantee to do the following (Sec. 503):

    • Lobby any representative of the Department of Justice regarding the award of grant funding; or

    • Lobby any representative of the Federal Government or a State, local, or tribal government regarding the award of grant funding.

Legislation - Bill Passed With Amendment (House) -

Title: First Step Act of 2018

Legislation - Bill Passed (Senate) -

Title: First Step Act of 2018

Legislation - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: First Step Act of 2018



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