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


November 1, 2013

Bipartisan Alliances for Sentencing Reform

(National Journal) — The current political climate has led to all sorts of strange outcomes, such as a government shutdown. But it’s also created strange bedfellows, and perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in alliances formed over reforming mandatory prison sentences. A bill reducing mandatory minimum sentencing in certain nonviolent drug cases introduced this… Read more »

October 30, 2013

New Bill Shows Sentencing Reform has Momentum in Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. — FAMM president Julie Stewart today hailed the introduction of yet another bipartisan sentencing reform bill in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Raul Labrador (R-ID) and Bobby Scott (D-VA). The bill, H.R. 3382, the Smarter Sentencing Act, shows that fixing federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws is growing in importance for both… Read more »

October 30, 2013

Parole for Mass. Drug Offenders, One Year Later

Now that the 2012 sentencing reforms have been in effect for over a year, there are two groups of drug offenders in Massachusetts’ prisons and houses of correction — those who were sentenced under the old laws and those who were (or will be) sentenced under the new law.  Not surprisingly, FAMM has been getting… Read more »

October 30, 2013

Justice Kennedy Discusses the Price of Punishment

(Tampa Bay Times) — Want to know one of the greatest unrecognized injustices, in the view of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy? Overly harsh criminal sentences. You read that right. The Reagan-appointed justice thinks America’s criminal justice system is not working and too costly. “I think you have to look at rehabilitation and alternative punishments,” Kennedy… Read more »

October 30, 2013

New Study Calls on Louisiana to Change Sentencing Laws

(Associated Press) — A new study by right-leaning policy organizations recommends that Louisiana shrink its prison population and costs by repealing minimum mandatory sentences for nonviolent crimes. The groups suggest that Louisiana could maintain public safety, while also reducing a per capita incarceration rate that is the highest in the nation, by making changes to… Read more »

October 29, 2013

U.S. Senate Judiciary to Hold BOP Oversight Hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Bureau of Prisons on Nov. 6, Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced on October 25.  The hearing, which will be chaired by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), is part of the Committee’s regular oversight function and will also explore cost-effective ways to reduce recidivism. The government… Read more »

October 28, 2013

Crime and Punishment in America

(Los Angeles Times Editorial) — Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to require minimum three-year prison sentences for unlawful possession of loaded weapons. If the proposal sounds both familiar and ominous, it should: California has been down this road, and in fact is on it still. It’s a road paved with fear and desperation, and it leads to… Read more »