Friends, despite starting out with major bipartisan momentum, the Sentencing Reform and CORRECTIONS Act, S. 2123, has still not been brought up for a vote. This is the closest we’ve come to major reform of mandatory minimums in decades, and we can’t let this chance escape us.
The Sentencing Reform and CORRECTIONS Act is a strongly bipartisan piece of legislation that passed out of the Judiciary Committee with an overwhelming 15-5 vote. But Sen. Mitch McConnell has not yet brought it to a vote on the Senate floor. The only way he will bring it to a vote is if he hears other Senators demanding it, and those Senators will only tell him to bring it to a vote if their constituents- that’s you- express to them how important the Sentencing Reform and CORRECTIONS Act is to you.
The United States has 25% of the world’s prisoners with only 5% of its population, in large part due to lengthy mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders. The Sentencing Reform and CORRECTIONS Act helps to fix this by shortening most mandatory minimums, and by creating and expanding exemptions to the minimums for low level offenders. Even better, it makes many of its reforms retroactive, allowing those in prison now to apply for re-sentencing under the new laws.
But the bill does more. It provides a system for juveniles charged as adults to seal and expunge their records. It effectively ends juvenile life sentences in the federal system, and bans most uses of solitary confinement on youth. It provides for more proven recidivism reduction programs in federal prison, and reduces sentences for prisoners who complete those programs successfully.
Senators on both sides of the aisle have said that the Sentencing Reform and CORRECTIONS Act would pass if it came to a vote. Will you help now?