12.21.18

First Step Act

First Step: Using Evidenced-based, Individualized Programming to Improve Outcomes for Returning Citizens

As President Trump signed The First Step Act, we celebrate this noteworthy bipartisan triumph. We hope this Act marks the first of many steps to overhaul our criminal justice system.

Though the passage calls for celebration, we know reintegrating former inmates into society takes more than a single act of legislation. It calls for high-quality programming so that returning citizens can become productive, self-reliant, law-abiding members of society, capable of supporting themselves and their families. As such, the Bureau of Prisons urgently needs to take additional steps to channel resources and changes in policy and practice around the country, addressing everything from gaps in education and mental health care to basic access to essential technology. And, Congress needs to fully fund this effort.

At APDS, we have been focusing on rehabilitation in the form of evidenced-based, individualized education, job training, and reentry programming. In addition, we have provided staff training resources to support this approach. The states and counties where we work are already seeing gains.

Since our founding, APDS has made an unprecedented effort to improve security, education efficiency, and curriculum access for inmates and correctional staff alike. And, we do so without charging the inmate or their families.

We look forward to working with correctional systems at the federal, state, and county levels to leverage our software and technology to deliver high-quality, data driven, individualized programming to all incarcerated learners and returning citizens. Working together, a full-scale transformation of the system becomes possible.

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