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We are thrilled that the Department of Justice has announced an expansion of earned time credits under the bipartisan First Step Act. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s decision today changes how credits are calculated for participation in recidivism-reduction programming, a calculation that will now be retroactive to the date of enactment of the First Step Act, allowing thousands of low-risk incarcerated Americans who participated in the programming to be eligible for release. 

We applaud the advocacy of Sens. Dick Durbin and Charles Grassley to ensure that implementation of the First Step Act is consistent with Congress’ original intent, as well as thank Attorney General Garland for his leadership to provide more individuals with meaningful second chances.

This is an important step toward shrinking our nationwide system of mass incarceration that keeps too many people in prison for too long with no benefit to public safety. Today’s decision recognizes the work that thousands of people have done to better themselves and returns them to their families and communities.