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The Champion

March 2019 , Page 08 

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NACDL News: First Step Act Signed into Law; a Move in Right Direction for Federal Criminal Justice Reform

By Ivan J. Dominguez and Ian Nawalinski

Read more NACDL News columns.

The First Step Act was signed into law on Dec. 21, 2018. 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 prisoners and has important implications for practitioners.

“NACDL certainly celebrates the diligent advocates that helped bring about this legislation and is heartened by the thousands of prisoners who will see reductions in their sentences and confinement, but the First Step Act is far from the final step on our march to a more just criminal justice system,” said NACDL President Drew Findling. “While the First Step Act is not the sweeping overhaul claimed by some and contains provisions that divided reformers, NACDL supported passage because the bill will reduce sentences for thousands of defendants and prisoners. Even so, NACDL and fellow reform advocates will need to be

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  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
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