|Now’s your chance to advance sentencing reform in Congress
On Thursday, February 15, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley will hold a vote on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. The legislation seeks to check the federal government’s harsh sentencing structure frequently applied to convictions for nonviolent drug offenses. You can help advance the legislation by contacting your senators today.
The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act gives judges greater flexibility in sentencing below a mandatory minimum in low-level cases and curbs outsized sentences – including life without parole – for nonviolent and non-serious drug crimes. Importantly, several of the bill’s provisions will allow some current prisoners to petition for retroactive relief, including 3,100 people still incarcerated under the old 100 to 1 crack cocaine disparity.
The legislation does contain counterproductive provisions, including the creation of two new mandatory minimums for other offenses, and a sentencing enhancement for trafficking of heroin laced with fentanyl. We have researched the sentencing increases and determined that the overall impact will be minimal. We believe supporting this bipartisan compromise will be an important incremental approach to advancing justice for many thousands of people.
Please join us in advocating for passage of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act by contacting your senators and asking for their support.
To learn more:
- Read The Sentencing Project’s letter endorsing the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act.
- Read the recent Washington Post op-ed highlighting the importance of the retroactivity provisions in the bill by Kara Gotsch, Director of Strategic Initiatives.