Policy Resource Library

Below you'll find white papers, articles, explainers, and more that dive deeper into our work on criminal justice reform.

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    Second Chances

    The Second Chance Resource Library: The Second Chances Resource Library contains resources related to expanding release opportunities for people in prison who are serving long sentences or have other circumstances warranting release.

    Second Chance Successes in 2023 (December 2023): A list of second chances laws enacted in 2023 and discussion of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s amendments to the policy statement governing federal compassionate release.

    The Older You Get: Why Incarcerating the Elderly Makes us Less Safe (October 2021): A fact sheet on the relationship between age and recidivism.

    Time for Justice: The Urgent Need for Second Chances in Pennslyvania’s Sentencing System (November 2021): A report on the state of extreme sentences in Pennsylvania and recommendations to improve sentencing policy in Pennsylvania.

    A Second Chances Starts with a Second Look: The Case for Reconsideration of Lengthy Prison Sentences (2019): A brief white paper on the need for second look sentencing reform at the federal level.

    The Harms of Extreme Sentences and the Need for Second Look Laws (October 2021):  A fact sheet detailing FAMM’s principles for second look legislation. 

    Second Look Sentencing Explained: What it is, why we need it, and how it works (2019): An infographic detailing how second look laws work.

    Second Look: Who Should Decide? Determining the Best Decision-maker (November 2023): This document looks at factors to be considered when evaluating and choosing a second look decision-maker (court, parole board, etc.) in a particular jurisdiction.

    Compassionate Release

    Compassionate Release and the First Step Act: Then and Now (n.d.a): A fact sheet on the changes enacted to federal compassionate release under the First Step Act.

    Extraordinary and Compelling: The U.S. Sentencing Commission Should Preserve Second Chances (2022): This brief explains how the First Step Act’s compassionate release reform allowed hundreds of people serving extreme sentences to be granted early release and profiles six of them.

    Like they’re waiting for you to die: Development of the inadequate medical care doctrine from district court to united states sentencing commission (2024)

    Letter to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco re: FCI Dublin (May 2022): A letter to DAG Monaco urging the DOJ to file motion for a reduction of sentence for survivors of sexual violence at FCI Dublin.

    Prison sexual assault victims can now petition for compassionate release (June 2023): An article on approved United States Sentencing Guideline amendments to allow compassionate release for survivors of sexual violence in federal prisons.

    Sentencing Reform

    Mandatory Minimums

    The Case Against Mandatory Minimums (April 2021): A fact sheet detailing the case against mandatory minimum sentencing laws. 

    Briefing Paper: Mandatory Minimums (January 2024): A briefing paper on the evidence against mandatory minimums. 

    "Truth in Sentencing": Paying More Money to Make Our Communities Less Safe (April 2024): A fact sheet detailing the case against truth in sentencing laws.

    U.S. Sentencing Commission

    Fact Sheet: United States Sentencing Commission (May 2022): A fact sheet on explaining the United States Sentencing Commission and the federal sentencing guidelines. 

    FAMM 2024 Comments to the Sentencing Commission (February 2024): FAMM’s comments to the United States Sentencing Commission on the 2024 amendment cycle which includes acquitted conduct and juvenile criminal history points.

    FAMM 2023 comments to the sentencing commission (March 2023): FAMM’s comments to the United States Sentencing Commission on the 2023 amendment cycle which includes amendments to compassionate release and criminal history.

    Prison Reform and Oversight

    Safer Prisons, Safer Communities (March 2024): A statement of principles for the Safer Prisons, Safer Communities Project - a joint effort between FAMM and One Voice United to address the understaffing crisis in corrections.

    Improving Transparency and Accountability in Prisons Through Independent Oversight (January 2024): An explanation of what prison oversight is; how it benefits people who are incarcerated, correctional staff, communities, and lawmakers; and examples of existing prison oversight models.

    The Need for Prison Oversight (February 2020): A list of principles for independent prison oversight agencies. 

    Model Independent Prison Oversight Legislation (August 2022): Model independent prison oversight legislation and a summary of the model bill.