Press Release

FAMM releases comment following Sentencing Commission vote on retroactivity

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FAMM releases comment following Sentencing Commission vote on retroactivity

WASHINGTON – FAMM Deputy Director of Policy Daniel Landsman released the following statement regarding today’s US Sentencing Commission vote to make the recent amendments to how the sentencing guidelines calculate criminal history retroactive.

“We are very excited with today’s vote,” Landsman said. “If a change in the guidelines is made for those going forward, it shouldn’t leave behind those already sentenced. Under these changes, more than 18,000 people could earn an average reduction of about 14 months off of their sentence, based on estimates. FAMM strongly supported the proposal to make these amendments retroactive, and we’re glad so many families will have the chance to be reunited that much sooner.”

Based on today’s vote, two different amendments will now apply retroactively.

One affects some people who received two criminal history “status points,” or people who were still under custody or supervision at the time of their offense. People who had fewer than seven criminal history points at sentencing and who received status points can ask the court to eliminate those two points, while those with seven or more criminal history points at sentencing would be eligible to eliminate one point.

The other amendment would provide for a two-level downward adjustment for some defendants with zero criminal history points. Judges will be able to reduce the sentencing range by two levels if the defendant meets specific criteria.

Learn more about the amendments here.

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.