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First Step Act Implementation Progress

DOJ releases "Risk and Needs Assessment System" report

Memorandum on Use of Private Prisons Rescinded

(BOP) - On Friday, July 19, 2019, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Jeffrey A. Rosen announced the release of the Attorney General's Risk and Needs Assessment System report, a key step in the implementation of the First Step Act of 2018 (FSA). DAG Rosen explained that the First Step Act seeks to reduce recidivism among the federal prison population and encourages the use of evidence-based programming to reduce inmates' risk of recidivism and assist with their successful reentry back into American communities. By relying on assessments which identify risk factors, including age, history, and participation in rehabilitative programs, the new Risk and Needs Assessment system will be used to assign inmates to appropriate risk categories and focus evidence-based programs towards higher risk offenders. Lower risk offenders may earn additional time in pre-release custody. DAG Rosen stated, "Many inmates face challenges when returning to society, and if we can prepare them for reentry and attempt to enhance their rehabilitation, we can reduce recidivism rates and thus reduce crime rates."

In the Bureau of Prisons, release preparation begins on the first day of incarceration. The Bureau has always offered a broad variety of reentry programs, including work programs, education and vocational training to help inmates enhance job training skills in support of their successful reentry back to the community. Bureau of Prisons Acting Director Hugh J. Hurwitz described the Bureau's progress thus far with FSA implementation efforts and thanked the Department of Justice for the leadership and commitment to the effort, as well as thanked the "thousands of dedicated staff of the Bureau of Prisons for their commitment in support of this important new legislation." Acting Director Hurwitz went on to say that "Many staff worked long hours to help get us to today. We have a lot to be proud of, but we still have more to do. I look forward to continued collaboration between Bureau staff, staff from across the Department of Justice, and the many stakeholders with an interest in helping to reduce recidivism."

The Attorney General's Report, "The First Step Act of 2018: Risk and Needs Assessment System" is available for review on the Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice website ( Additionally, the Bureau of Prisons has created a resource area on its public website ( to provide additional information on the FSA.