I'm currently 700 miles away from home, which is approximately an 11 hour one-way drive at 60 mph, not including gas and restroom breaks. It takes my family and friends about 24 hours round trip to come visit me. This excessive long duration creates hardships and prevents my family and friends, especially the elders from being able to make the long trip. Booking a hotel room adds to that cost. Bureau of Prison policy states, "They are in support of good family ties", but how can this be accomplished when I'm 2-3 states away from my home? If the First Step Act passes, my family and friends would be able to visit me more frequently because I would be housed within 500 miles of where I live, if possible.
I will also benefit from the retroactive 54 good days. Everyone in federal custody used to received 54 good days per year calculated off their sentence until the B.O.P. found a loophole and decided to only give 47 good days instead of 54. If the First Step Act passes, I will be eligible for an immediate ninety-eight day reduction to my sentence. It may not seem like a lot to some, but this means the world to me and my family. Ninety-eight days is not trivial, because every day in prison, is time that can never be recovered; I’m missing all the milestones that families celebrate together. I will cherish every minute of every day when I regain my freedom and celebrate the simplest of pleasures such as walking barefoot in the grass, sleeping in a comfortable bed, making a meal for my children and elders, or simply watching a sunset. I daydream of these simple pleasures constantly and pray our leaders in DC will support the First Step Act and put politics aside.
To learn more about Michael Alexander go to: http://www.candoclemency.com/michael-alexander/