FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leila McDowell
Nation’s Leading Sentencing Reform Group Applauds Governor Branstad for Signing Reform of Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences
WASHINGTON— Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) today applauded Iowa Governor Terry Branstad for signing a bill to reform the state’s mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws. HF 2064 allows certain low-level drug offenders to become parole eligible after serving half of the current mandatory minimum sentence. The bill also makes some currently incarcerated drug offenders eligible for parole. The measure is estimated to reduce sentences for hundreds of nonviolent drug offenders and estimated to save more than $700,000 over the next fiscal year.
“Governor Branstad should be commended for signing this good bill. It’s a first step, but it puts Iowa well on its way to a smarter and more effective criminal justice system,” said Greg Newburn, FAMM’s State Policy Director. “Governor Branstad’s commitment to flexible sentencing will save money, but more importantly it will keep the public safe,” Newburn said. FAMM supported the bill, which was approved 98-0 by the Iowa House of Representatives and 28-19 by the Iowa Senate.
Newburn noted the new law puts Iowa among several states that have passed similar criminal justice reforms. “Red and blue states around the country have made the move to reserve prison space for dangerous offenders, and the evidence is beyond dispute: sentencing reform protects public safety, protects families, and protects taxpayers. All Iowans should applaud this new law,” Newburn said.
FAMM is the nation’s leading sentencing reform organization. Based in Washington, D.C., the group recently celebrated its 25th anniversary fighting for sentencing reform.
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