Support Sentencing Reform

Decades of evidence and experience tell us that harsh sentencing regimes have done much more harm than good. The strict penalties designed to combat the distribution of illegal drugs did little to stem the drug trade, and swept low-level drug offenders into our ever-expanding criminal justice system. Furthermore, mandatory minimums have been used against defendants of color at a staggeringly disproportionate rate. Over the past several years, the U.S. Sentencing Commission has reported that about seventy percent of mandatory minimums are imposed on African American and Latino individuals.

America is a nation of second chances. With these bills, individuals who had no hope of leaving prison now have the possibility of being given release dates and could look forward to returning home and rejoining their families and communities. By helping to reduce lengthy prison sentences for certain low level drug offenses and providing those currently incarcerated with the opportunity to petition the court for a reduction in their sentence, S.2123 and H.R. 3713 will serve as a powerful tools to right the wrongs of the past, ensure justice and equality moving forward, and become a launching pad for other necessary reforms in the future.

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