FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, FAMM applauds the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s passage of the Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act (S. 1675). The bipartisan bill, a compromise negotiated by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and John Cornyn (R-TX), is anticipated to help alleviate overcrowding in federal prisons – now at 138 percent of their capacity – and may help reduce federal prison costs, which consume a full quarter of the Department of Justice’s budget and threaten funding for other law enforcement programs. Among other things, the legislation passed today
- requires the federal Bureau of Prisons to classify all federal prisoners as being at high, moderate, or low risk of reoffending;
- permits many prisoners to earn time credits for completing recidivism-reducing programs or “productive activities” like maintaining a prison job; and
- allows low and moderate risk prisoners who earn a certain number of time credits to be released from prison early to serve the remainders of their sentences on prerelease custody in a halfway house, on home confinement, or under community supervision.
Responding to today’s committee passage of the Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act, FAMM founder and president Julie Stewart said:
“Today’s vote underscores the growing national movement of bipartisan support for criminal justice reform. In January, the Committee approved the Smarter Sentencing Act, which addresses how many people will go to prison. Today’s vote on the Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act is aimed at moving people out of prison more efficiently. The combination of the two bills will lead to significant savings in both dollars and lives, while still protecting public safety.”
Senate leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said that the Smarter Sentencing Act is one of the bills the Senate plans to take up this spring. The bipartisan bill has the support of dozens of advocacy and civil rights groups ranging from Heritage Action to the ACLU, plus former prosecutors, police and prison guard organizations, victim advocates, prominent conservatives, and faith groups.
FAMM is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for sentences that protect the public, fit the crime and the offender, and are humane, just, and proportionate.