For Media Inquiries:
Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700
FAMM Statement on the House Introduction of EQUAL Act
U.S. House introduces bill calling for the end of the crack vs powder campaign disparity
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring released the following statement in support of the House introduction of the EQUAL Act. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Reps. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) would end the disparity in federal prison sentences for crack and powder cocaine-related crimes.
“We are very excited that this bipartisan bill has been introduced,” said FAMM President Kevin Ring. “We can’t eliminate racial bias from every human heart, but we can and must eliminate it from our sentencing laws. Congress has an opportunity to do the right thing by eliminating the indefensible crack-powder disparity once and for all.”
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.
In late January, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the Senate version of the same bill, also called the EQUAL Act.
Last month, FAMM and Prison Fellowship teamed up to launch the #EndTheDisparity Campaign to urge Congress to eliminate the disparity between crack and powder cocaine-related sentences. Both organizations have circulated petitions and have held a lobby week to build public support for reform.
For nearly 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’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal level and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.