How the “First Step Act” and Other Sentencing Reforms Will Impact White Collar Defendants

The recently enacted First Step Act, while not a sweeping reformation, does implement important provisions affecting sentencing and serving time, particularly for low-level and first-time offenders. By using time credits to reward participation in recidivism-reduction programs, implementing more community-based productive activities and codifying certain sentencing preferences, the Act aims to smooth incarcerated individuals’ transition back into society. In this guest article, Holland & Knight partner Vince Farhat and associates Juan Rodriguez and Samuel Stone explain why the Act represents a potentially significant development for persons convicted of white collar offenses, who tend to be non-violent offenders who are less likely to recidivate. See “Changes to Justice Manual on Individual Prosecutions Moderate but Preserve the Yates Memo” (Jan. 23, 2019).

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