Tripp Laino, 202-999-4273
FAMM statement on the House passage of the EQUAL Act
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring released the following statement in response to the House of Representatives passage of the EQUAL Act today. The EQUAL Act would end the disparity in federal prison sentences for crack and powder cocaine-related crimes.
“After the murder of George Floyd, it was obvious that we as a country needed to work harder to stamp out racial discrimination in our justice system,” Ring said. “Eliminating the crack-powder disparity, which has disproportionately and unfairly harmed Black families, was an obvious target. Today’s huge bipartisan vote reflects the overwhelming public support for eliminating the crack disparity. We hope the Senate acts quickly to remove this 35-year-old mistake from the criminal code.”
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.
Earlier this year, 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.