Second Look Sentencing | FAMM

Second Look Sentencing

The United States locks up hundreds of thousands of people with excessive and ineffective sentences – yet these people are too often unable to obtain a release from prison even if they have rehabilitated themselves or no longer pose a risk to public safety. Second look sentencing would allow courts to reevaluate a person’s sentence after a significant period of time served in prison and determine if that sentence is still necessary

FAMM supports second look sentencing reforms because people change over time, and we need to be as cost-effective as possible with our finite public safety resources. Locking people up long past the point of necessity makes no one safer.

Download our infographic for more information:

You can also learn more about the need for Second Look Sentencing by watching our video.

Federal Second Look Bills

Second Look in the States

Compassionate release

Another way to reconsider sentences that may no longer be necessary to protect the public is through compassionate release, or medical or geriatric release or parole. This allows courts or parole boards to release elderly, ill, or dying prisoners who pose no risk of reoffending. Learn more about how these systems work around the country, and how FAMM is working to improve them.


Another way to reconsider and adjust excessive sentences is through the use of executive clemency, when the U.S. president or a governor grants a commutation of sentence and releases a person from prison, often to fix an unjust sentence or recognize rehabilitation. Learn more about how clemency works and how FAMM is working to improve and expand its use.