Sentencing News

FAMM has resources and contacts to assist the media with reporting on mandatory minimum sentences and their effects on the country. Media inquiries should be directed to


August 28, 2013

Time Served — and Wasted — for a Nonviolent Drug Offense

FAMM member Debi Campbell wrote this compelling op-ed for the Los Angeles Times. When I learned this month that Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. was proposing to change how the federal government charges and sentences nonviolent drug offenders, I thought to myself, “It’s about time.” I know a thing or two about time. I… Read more »

August 22, 2013

When it Comes to Fairer Sentences, “There Are No Costs, Only Benefits”

Check out this excellent editorial from The New York Times: Sentencing Reform Starts to Pay Off. Here are a couple excerpts (but really, you should just go read the editorial): According to a preliminary report released by the commission, more than 7,300 federal prisoners have had their sentences shortened under the law. The average reduction… Read more »

August 20, 2013

Rethinking Drug Sentences Comes Too Late for Some

(CNN) — When Stephanie Nodd walked out of prison two years ago, she found herself in a new world. Her five children were grown. Computers and cell phones were everywhere. Her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, had seen a thriving nightlife district emerge in its once-sleepy downtown. Nodd had emerged after spending 21 years in federal… Read more »

August 17, 2013

Mandatory Minimums Keep Many Nonviolent People Behind Bars

(Tampa Bay Tribune) — Timothy L. Tyler was a free-spirited Grateful Dead fan who followed the band around the country in his camper, selling fried dough and smoothies to other fans and buying LSD to sell to his friends back home. Sherman Chester was a former St. Petersburg football player who dropped out of college after his… Read more »

August 17, 2013

Prison Reform: An Unlikely Alliance of Left and Right

(The Economist/Molly Gill quoted) — Eric Holder and Rick Perry have little in common. America’s attorney-general is black, liberal and uses the word “community” a lot. The governor of Texas is white, conservative and says “God” a lot. Last month Mr Holder’s Justice Department sued Texas for allegedly trying to make it harder for blacks… Read more »

August 16, 2013

A Perfect Storm for Sentencing Reform

(MSNBC commentary by Julie Stewart) — For years, I argued that just as it took President Nixon to create an opening to China, it was going to take a conservative to eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing laws. How, then, was Eric Holder, the not-conservative attorney general, able to stick the shiv in the back of mandatory sentencing… Read more »

August 15, 2013

American Correctional Association Endorses Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Reform

(Huffington Post) — The largest prison and corrections association threw its weight behind mandatory minimum sentencing reform this week, offering support for a plan to overhaul parts of the justice system at both the state and federal levels. At its annual conference in Maryland, members of the American Correctional Association adopted a resolution addressing the… Read more »