FAMM’s Accomplishments


Over 312,000 people have benefited from sentencing reforms championed by FAMM since 1991:

Over 97,000 federal prisoners received sentences below the mandatory minimum term because they benefited from the “safety valve” exception to federal drug mandatory minimums, passed by Congress in 1994 at FAMM’s urging.

Over 108,000 federal prisoners have received sentences below the term called for by the federal sentencing guidelines, which the U.S. Supreme Court made advisory in United States v. Booker in 2005.  FAMM filed a “friend of the court” brief in that case and has fought to keep the guidelines advisory ever since.

Over 46,000 federal prisoners became eligible for reduced sentences after FAMM urged the U.S. Sentencing Commission to make changes to federal drug sentencing guidelines retroactive in 2014.

Over 24,000 federal crack offenders received sentence reductions after FAMM’s advocacy convinced the U.S. Sentencing Commission to make its changes to crack sentencing guidelines retroactive.

Over 13,200 people received fairer sentences for crack cocaine offenses under the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, a reform FAMM helped push through Congress.

Over 5,400 additional federal crack offenders with pending appeals became eligible to benefit from the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 because of FAMM’s advocacy for Department of Justice policy changes and our involvement in a U.S. Supreme Court case, Dorsey v. United States.

Over 8,200 people have received fairer sentences since FAMM successfully lobbied the Michigan Legislature to repeal mandatory minimum drug sentences.

Over 5,800 people received sentences below the mandatory minimum term based on FAMM-suggested reforms to New Jersey’s drug school zone law.

Over 2,000 people became eligible for sentence reductions because of changes that capped the maximum sentence people could receive under the sentencing guidelines, a change made retroactive by the U.S. Sentencing Commission at FAMM’s urging in 1994.

Over 900 marijuana growers were eligible for sentence reductions because of changes to marijuana weights in the sentencing guidelines, made retroactive by the U.S. Sentencing Commission at FAMM’s urging in 1995.

Over 1,715 people were released early from federal prisons through commutations granted by various Presidents. FAMM has been a tireless advocate for executive and state clemency and took part in the Clemency Project 2014.

Over 250 people were released early from federal prisons through compassionate release. FAMM has worked with the U.S. Sentencing Commission and Congress to broaden the criteria for who can receive a compassionate release and has educated prisoners about how to seek it.

65 elderly federal prisoners were released early because of the elderly offender release program in the Second Chance Act of 2007, a bill FAMM supported.

550 county drug offenders in Massachusetts received parole eligibility after FAMM advocated for passage of a reform bill in the General Assembly.

And more are coming… FAMM has helped secure sentencing reform victories in Oklahoma, Georgia, Maryland, and Florida in recent years and will continue to monitor the impact of those victories!

Testimonials from FAMM’s work on reducing guideline sentences for drugs.


FAMM’s work for smart sentencing policies has been recognized by a diverse group of prestigious organizations, including: 

  • Certificate of Achievement for Reforming Federal Crack Cocaine Laws from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, 2011
  • The Citizen Activist Award from the Gleitsman Foundation, 2006
  • Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award, 2002
  • Champion of Justice Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL), 2001
  • Thomas Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, 1994
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