U.S. Sentencing Commission Clears Way for 46,000 Federal Prisoners to Apply for Shorter Sentences
Date:  07-19-2014

Sentencing Commission vote affects only 3 percent of U.S. prisoners
There is joy in federal prisons across America. As reported by Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), an organization known as fierce advocates for federal sentencing reform, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to make the new federal drug sentence reductions retroactive. But an email blast from FAMM warns prisoners and their loved ones:

  • Not all federal drug offenders sentenced before November 1, 2014, will be eligible for a sentence reduction, and the reductions are not automatic.

  • While courts can begin considering and granting motions for sentence reductions starting on November 1, 2014, prisoner releases will not begin until November 1, 2015.
  • Why the delay? The Commission is giving courts and probation officers a chance to handle the big influx of motions for sentence reductions before probation officers must turn their attention to supervising the prisoners upon release.

    FAMM urges prisoners who think that they may be eligible for early release to speak to their lawyers, and provided a link to a list of federal public defenders in each district.

    After the Sentencing Commission vote Vox, an online news source, posted FAQ for those who want a clearer understanding of what the vote means. While the news form the Sentencing Commission brings hope to thousands of federal prisoners, VOX points out that only three percent of U.S. prisoners will be affected. Read more.