2307, 2019

First Step Act-Only for the correctional cerebral!

July 23rd, 2019|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , , |

It’s been far too long since I wrote a blog so giddy up! The catalyst for my rants is usually media driven so the DOJ presser about the First Step Act (FSA) from last Friday did the trick! Actually; that, in combination with many stories from various outlets simply led me to a blog long overdue. When writing about my displeasure with the FSA, I always point out my negativity is related only to the “back end” prison related aspects of the law. Reading the various stories from over the week end, one was led to believe hundreds of people were lining up to release at the doors of our federal prisons around the country which was far from reality. First, the good conduct time release adjustments (7 days) had little impact on people in prison as the majority affected where either already in the community halfway house, home detention, [...]

1204, 2019

What have we become?

April 12th, 2019|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , |

The gloves slightly come off 😉 It’s been too long since I wrote a blog so I’ll get busy with a topic advocates and politicians continue to dance on the tables over. I never even got on the table after the First Step Act was signed into law because it is ill conceived, poorly written, convoluted, underfunded and infiltrated with white collar & private prison interests. Maybe I’m just upset because I am close to being considered “Elderly” under the law based on the changes in the Elderly Offender pilot program criteria of the Second Chance Act reauthorization.  You would think in a society where people are living longer, the authors of the bill would have at least thought about changing elderly to “older” when it comes to age 60! But why should I be surprised when there is no attention to detail anywhere in this legislation?    While I’m [...]

503, 2019

It’s been a while!

March 5th, 2019|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , , , |

I've been remiss in posting at this location so thought I'd get out a few points while I had some down time in this 6 degree weather! I'll keep to the flavor of the month by making a few observation of the seriously flawed Fist Step Act. I say flawed mainly from a prison perspective as the front end provisions are good, even if they don't go far enough. As of late, the BOP revised the first relevant policy to the FSA in January on Compassionate Release. In the policy cue is an Operations Memorandum on Home Confinement which I wrote in detail about on a legal blog at : http://joaquinduncan.com/newsletters/Feb2019Newsletter.pdf. I contribute monthly to Todd's legal newsletter which is a must read. As predicted, the litigation has already begun and a habeas in Oregon was successful with the release of someone a few weeks ago when the judge ordered [...]

2011, 2018

The Lone Wolf speaks

November 20th, 2018|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , |

I recently testified in a sentencing and the prosecutor asked me if I was a "Lone Wolf"? Apparently he read one of my blogs looking for dirt and that's about all he could come up with.  I answered, "absolutely" when it comes to Criminal Justice form. I perpetually hang my head in shame when I view the commentary, op eds and press releases on justice reform issues when it comes to the prison aspects! Enter: The First Step Act.   It was comical watching an ex-police commissioner on TV the other night who is now a federal prion expert for doing a minute in a camp!  When asked about the bill, the best thing he had is how it would reunite families!  Are you kidding me?  The bill does not accomplish this nor does it accomplish a majority of the "prison reforms" it claims to but I guess it makes [...]

1511, 2018

Déjà vu all over again?

November 15th, 2018|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

I have tracked the various criminal justice reform bills for decades from a unique perspective inside the federal prison system. Each time, it’s the same old song and dance. First come the press releases; then rumors run rampant with the prison population while NGOs and politicians raise money for all the "wonderful work" they are doing regarding reform.  Families then celebrate and people within the system line up at the door for release. The last phase of the process is disappointment when nothing comes to fruition as everyone waits to repeat the vicious cycle. Is this time different? We have been at this juncture many times before with high expectations. It is easy to get caught up in the hype given social media and especially after the barrage of stories and press releases last night followed by the statements made by President Trump. While I usually cry foul at this [...]

2108, 2018

Dear Mr. Kushner

August 21st, 2018|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , , , , |

It appears the recent rumblings within the political landscape of justice reform have led to a potential compromise bill in the Senate looming for September. I’ve watched various reform bills since the 1980’s and can honestly say this is the first bill even remotely close to passage. I’d like to thank you for your efforts in keeping reform in the sights of the administration but also challenge you to think outside the box of the “Right/Left Coalition”, academics and advocates inside the beltway. From a practical perspective, a Senate compromise bill must have meaningful reforms like the expansion of the safety valve provisions, making the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA) retroactive and reducing some of the more draconian mandatory minimums, especially clarifying the “stacking” in reference to 924(c). These “front end” components included in the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S.1917) were omitted in the First Step Act (H.R.5682) which has [...]

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