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 1, 2013

Summer Camp … In Prison?

At a time when a lot of parents are sending their kids off to summer camp (or bringing them home from camp), this moving and important video from the Washington Post highlights quite an unusual summer camp experience:  visiting Dad in prison for a week. This video should be shared with any parent who thinks prison… Read more »

August 1, 2013

Julie on Justice: Moving from Nonsense to Offense

It’s a fact: every day in this country another person is sent to prison for way too long because of mandatory minimum sentences. That’s why we need to pass the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, a bill that would let judges ignore the mandatory sentence when it is clearly absurd. Just ask Edward Young. … Read more »

July 31, 2013

Half a Billion Saved, at No Cost to Public Safety

The U.S. Sentencing Commission’s latest Preliminary Crack Retroactivity Data report has some facts and figures that should wow us all:  more than 7,200 federal prisoners got sentence reductions based on the Commission’s changes to crack cocaine sentencing guidelines in 2011.  The average sentence reduction:  29 months.  The average annual cost of locking up a federal prisoner:… Read more »

July 31, 2013

Same Level of Safety for a Half-Billion Less; FAMM President Reacts to New Crack Guideline Retroactivity Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — FAMM President Julie Stewart released the following statement today in reaction to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s latest Preliminary Crack Retroactivity Data report:  Consider for a moment how proud members of Congress would be if they used the best available evidence and data to reform a federal program in a way that maintained all… Read more »

July 22, 2013

Rebecca Betts: Justice Sometimes Requires Discretion

Rebecca Betts, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, wrote this op-ed in the Charleston Daily Mail about the importance of sentencing discretion and the Justice Safety Valve Act. When I served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia in the mid-1990s, my office aggressively prosecuted dangerous criminals and… Read more »

July 19, 2013

Clemency Reform: We’re Still Waiting

  Take a look at FAMM President Julie Stewart’s latest piece on the Huffington Post, Clemency Reform: We’re Still Waiting. If the administration wants to make certain every dollar of our nation’s public safety budget is spent productively, as it should, President Obama should begin to exercise his executive clemency authority. For starters, he might… Read more »