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FAMM’s General Counsel Mary Price to testify before U.S. Sentencing Commission about compassionate release
WASHINGTON – FAMM’s General Counsel Mary Price will appear before the U.S. Sentencing Commission Thursday, testifying in favor of compassionate release reform.
Among other issues, Price’s testimony urges the Commission to recognize changes in law that render continued incarceration inequitable; allowing people to seek a reduced sentence if their current sentence would not be imposed today.
“The Bureau of Prisons has proven unwilling or unable to use its compassionate release authority to save lives and prevent needless suffering,” Price said. “The Commission now has the chance to ensure that courts, not just the BOP, can review sentences in cases involving medical neglect, sexual abuse by correctional officers, and instances where excessive prison terms imposed under repudiated laws make the sentence unjust. The Commission should seize this opportunity to protect incarcerated people where the BOP has failed.”
This is the first time the Commission has met to update the Sentencing Guidelines in over four years. This hearing could help determine the future of compassionate release in the federal system.
Price has worked on federal compassionate release efforts for more than twenty years, and through every Sentencing Commission guideline amendment cycle. Last August, FAMM released a report, titled, “Extraordinary and Compelling: The U.S. Sentencing Commission Should Preserve Second Chances,” which highlighted the stories of individuals who were granted compassionate release by courts using their authority under the First Step Act.
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.