FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leila McDowell, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.822.6700
WASHINGTON— Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) today applauded the Iowa legislature for passing a bill to reform the state’s mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws. HF 2064 allows certain low-level drug offenders to become parole eligible after serving half of the mandatory minimum sentence currently required by law. The bill also makes some currently incarcerated drug offenders eligible for parole. The measure, approved 98-0 by the Iowa House of Representatives and 28-19 by the Iowa Senate, is expected to reduce sentences for hundreds of nonviolent drug offenders and estimated to save more than $700,000 over the next fiscal year.
“This is a major victory for smarter sentencing in Iowa,” said Greg Newburn, FAMM’s State Policy Director. “Iowans understand it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year locking up drug offenders who don’t need to be in prison. This bill will make Iowa safer and save taxpayers money, too,” Newburn said.
FAMM supported the bill, which passed overwhelmingly in both chambers. “It is a credit to Iowa’s legislative leadership that both parties could come together and pass a common sense bill like this,” Newburn said. He added, “We want to specifically thank Senate Judiciary Chairman Sodders, House Judiciary Chairman Baltimore, Representative Olson, and Representative Wolfe for their leadership on this important issue.”
Newburn added that FAMM hopes the bill will be signed into law soon. “States across the country have reformed their sentencing laws and seen crime rates drop. Governor Branstad has made criminal justice reform a priority this year and we’re hopeful his signature on this bill will make Iowa become the next state to get smart on crime,” Newburn said.
FAMM is the nation’s leading sentencing reform organization. Based in Washington, D.C., the group recently celebrated its 25th anniversary fighting for sentencing reform.
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