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FAMM releases statement on the introduction of EQUAL Act in House, Senate
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring released the following statement following the House and Senate introduction of the EQUAL Act, which would end the disparity between the penalties for crack and powder cocaine.
“This bipartisan bill is pro-family, pro-safety and pro-fairness, ” Ring said. “It will reunite thousands of families earlier, allow policymakers to target more resources to bigger threats to public safety, and correct one of the worst remnants of racial discrimination in federal law.”
The bill, which overwhelmingly passed the House last year, died in the Senate.
Late last month, FAMM along with 20 additional law enforcement, justice reform, and civil rights organizations sent a letter to Sens. Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham (the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, respectively) urging them to schedule a markup for the EQUAL Act as soon as it is reintroduced this Congress.
FAMM played an active role in securing passage of the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010, which reduced the crack-powder disparity from 100:1 to 18:1. FAMM also pushed Congress to make the new 18:1 disparity retroactive in the First Step Act, a reform that has reduced excessive sentences for more than 3,600 people, more than 90 percent of whom were Black.
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.