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FAMM, ACLU and Dream Corps JUSTICE encourage calls to Senators in support of EQUAL Act
WASHINGTON – FAMM, the ACLU and Dream Corps JUSTICE are encouraging people across America to call their Senators on Monday, May 23 in support of the EQUAL Act, which would eliminate the federal sentencing disparity between drug offenses involving crack cocaine and powder cocaine.
“Since we started promoting the EQUAL Act, we’ve talked about the impact it would have on so many families across the country,” said FAMM President Kevin Ring. “Now, we’re calling on those family members to make their voices heard. They need to call their Senators to tell them to pass the EQUAL Act now. This bill has support from a broad coalition of Republicans, Democrats, law enforcement organizations, and civil rights groups. We hope legislators listen to these families and schedule a vote for this bill.”
The EQUAL Act passed the House in September by an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 361-66..
“Hundreds of Republicans and Democrats in the House have already worked together to pass the EQUAL Act, and now, with 11 Republican Senate cosponsors, this bill is ready to pass out of Congress and make it to President Biden’s desk, where he already said he would sign it,” said Dream Corps JUSTICE Policy Director Kandia Milton. “The fact is that the racist War on Drugs has kept thousands arrested for crack cocaine in prison for years longer than if they had been arrested with the same amount of powder cocaine. That is why today, advocates across the country are reaching out to their Senators to demand this popular, common sense, and necessary bill be brought up for a vote as soon as possible.”
Despite 11 Republican co-sponsors, no vote has been set for the EQUAL Act.
“For 36 years, the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine, which lacks scientific justification, has resulted in higher sentences that are disproportionately borne by Black families,” said Aamra Ahmad, American Civil Liberties Union senior policy counsel. “There is strong bipartisan support for ending this disparity. We urge the Senate to pass the EQUAL Act, which will finally end that disparity, including for thousands of people still serving sentences under this unjust law. It is time for Congress to finally end this racially discriminatory policy.”
For more than three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM has led the fight to reform extreme mandatory sentencing laws and to promote rehabilitation and dignity for all people in prison, 94 percent of whom will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safely reduce incarceration, save taxpayer dollars, and keep families together. Founded in 1991, FAMM has secured bold sentencing and prison reform across the country while elevating the voices of directly impacted individuals and families.