Religion & Liberty Online

Acton Line podcast: First Step Act brings home thousands of prisoners; A win for property rights

In a few short days, thousands of federal inmates will be returning home on “earned good time.” That’s a result of The First Step Act, a federal prison reform bill which was signed into law in December. Criminal justice reform advocate Mark Holden joins the show to discuss the new law, why these ex-prisoners should have been freed earlier and what reforms should be made in the future.

In 2013, Rose Knick of Scott Township, Pennsylvania, was forced by government agents to allow public access to her property on grounds that there was a suspected gravesite on her land. Knick sued the township and the case worked its way to the Supreme Court. On June 21, justices ruled to restore property right to first class status. Patrick Garry, a professor at the University of South Dakota School of Law and director of the Hagemann Center for Legal & Public Policy Research, explains why the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Knick and put property rights on a firmer foundation.

Check out additional resources for this podcast:

Despite sentencing reform, the US Bureau of Prisons is holding thousands of inmates illegally beyond their release dates

Thousands of ex-prisoners to reunite with their families this month as part of First Step Act

Mark Holden: Four Ideas to Take the Next Step in Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal justice reform: Possible effects of the First Step Act

Podcast: A first step towards criminal justice reform

Landmark Supreme Court decision revives property rights

Supreme Court affirms that property rights are among Americans’ most important constitutional rights

Rose Knick on her Supreme Court win: “Doing the Constitution the way it’s supposed to be”

New to the Acton Line podcast? Subscribe here! We also recommend starting with these episodes:

Mourning the Notre-Dame cathedral inferno; Rev. Robert Sirico on education

F.A. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom; The media vs. ‘Unplanned’

Rev. Robert A. Sirico on the reality of socialism; Interview with a Venezuelan dissident

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Update: The Acton on Tap event in Pittsburgh on August 1 has been canceled. 

Caroline Roberts

Caroline Roberts is a managing editor at the Acton Institute and produces Acton's weekly podcast, Acton Line.