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NACDL and its members have long pressed to fix the unjustly severe federal sentencing regime, advocating for much more sweeping changes than are included in the First Step Act. Although the law does not go nearly as far as NACDL would like, it will benefit many inmates and has important implications for practitioners.
Risk and Needs Assessment System/Earned Time Credits (Title I) Good Time Credit Updates (Title I, Section 102) Sentencing Reform Provisions Under the First Step Act (Title IV) Compassionate Release (Title VI, Section 603)
In these two members-only webinars, leading experts examine the intricacies of the First Step Act. The First Step Act Webinar provides an overview and examines the sentencing implications of the law. The Compassionate Release and Second Looks Webinar focuses on the law's expanded mechanisms for early release.
Contact First Step Act Resource Center Counsel & Project Director Beth Blackwood for questions or support.
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In a criminal trial, cross-examination of the prosecution’s forensic expert may make the difference between victory or defeat.
NACDL’s 2020 Sample Motions Collection is the follow-up to our wildly popular 2019 Sample Motions Collection and contains the newest and most recent additions to our ever-expanding Sample Motions library.
The criminal defense attorney tasked with defending such a case has to be prepared to not only show reasonable doubt, but to answer this question: If it did not happen, how is it that the child believes it did happen?
It’s not your strong opening argument. It’s not how many of your impassioned objections the judge sustains. It’s not even how you tie your theory of the case together with a dazzling closing statement bow. What wins your trial is your cross.
Coalition letter to Senate and Senate Judiciary leadership regarding a technical fix to the Elderly Home Detention Pilot Program of the First Step Act addressed in the proposed H.R. 4018 (2019), already passed the House, especially given the current health concerns of COVID-19 expected for this population.
NACDL Executive Director Norman Reimer's written statement to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security regarding implementation of the First Step Act of 2018 (S. 756). Accompanied by NACDL's FOIA request to the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs regarding the risk and needs assessment tool DOJ will create for such implementation.
Risk assessment – the assessment of risk of reoffending or risk of future violent behavior – is a hot topic. However, only rarely do lawyers address the questions raised by criminal justice-related risk assessment. This finding suggests that defense lawyers may not be paying enough attention to the issue. A key issue involves addressing how the risk assessment connects the dots between a specific client’s circumstances and the factors related to reoffending and violence.
The FIRST STEP Act directly impacts accused and sentenced prisoners in myriad ways. Defense attorney Todd Bussert discusses Bureau of Prisons-related aspects of the law, including changes to the time credit calculus, avenues by which prisoners can earn both earlier pre-release transfers and placement on supervised release, and avenues to petition courts for reductions in sentence for extraordinary and compelling reasons. Bussert points out that implementation of some of the Act’s provisions may be delayed.
Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar and Charles Koch Foundation Mark the One-Year Anniversary of the First Step Act with the NACDL First Step Act Resource Center -- Washington, DC (Dec. 19, 2019) – Saturday, December 21, marks the one-year anniversary of the signing into law of the First Step Act, a landmark bipartisan criminal justice reform measure. The Act was passed as a first step toward addressing the problems related to overcriminalization and overincarceration in the federal criminal justice system.
NACDL Voices Concerns about DOJ’s First Step Act Risk and Needs Assessment System -- Washington, DC (Sept. 11, 2019) – Yesterday, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President Nina J. Ginsberg submitted to U.S. Attorney General William Barr NACDL’s comments on the Department of Justice’s First Step Act Risk and Needs Assessment System – PATTERN – published in July.
FAMM, Washington Lawyers’ Committee, NACDL Launch Compassionate Release Clearinghouse -- Washington, DC (June 19, 2019) – Thousands of sick, dying, and elderly federal prisoners who are eligible for early release will now have access to free legal representation in court through the newly established Compassionate Release Clearinghouse.
Congress Passes First Step Act; a Move in Right Direction for Federal Criminal Justice Reform - Washington, DC (Dec. 20, 2018) – Today, Congress passed the First Step Act and it is expected that the president will sign the bill into law in the coming days. NACDL and its members have long pressed to fix the unjustly severe federal sentencing regime, advocating for much more sweeping changes than are included in the First Step Act.