jail prison daniel chong dea
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

6,000 People To Be Released From Federal Prison Next Month In Line With New Drug Sentencing Guidelines

jail prison daniel chong deaStarting November 1, 6,000 federal prisoners are to be released from federal prison, a move that is the result of changes made by the U.S. Sentencing Commission last year that lowered federal sentencing guidelines for people convicted under draconian drug war-era laws.

“It warms my heart to hear that 6,000 people will be coming home,” said Anthony Papa, manager of media relations at the Drug Policy Alliance, who spent 12 years behind bars on a mandatory minimum drug sentence. “The drug war has devastated families and communities and it is time for the healing to begin.”

This development reflects efforts underway in Congress and by the Obama administration to reform federal drug sentencing laws, as well as a broader effort to adapt federal policy to overwhelming public support for reforming drug laws. More prisoners are expected to be released under the Sentencing Commission guidelines.

The Commission estimated that its change in sentencing guidelines eventually could result in 46,000 of the nation’s approximately 100,000 drug offenders in federal prison qualifying for a slightly earlier release.

Over the past year, federal judges have been reviewing cases with prosecutors. Prisoners who were deemed a threat to public safety were denied re-sentencing.

Last week, a bipartisan group of Senators announced a historic deal on criminal justice reform, rounding out a negotiation process that has lasted almost five months. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, spearheaded by Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), will involve reductions in mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, an expansion of the federal “safety valve” (which allows judges to use their discretion to sentence people below statutory mandatory minimums), and will expand reentry programming and early release, among other things.

According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission and a recent report by the Congressional Research Service, mandatory minimums have significantly contributed to overcrowding and racial disparities in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The BOP operates at nearly 140% capacity – and more than half of the prisoners in the BOP are serving time for a drug law violation. Even though African-Americans are no more likely than white people to use or sell drugs, evidence shows they are far more likely to be prosecuted for drug law offenses and far more likely to receive longer sentences than white people. With less than 5% of the world’s population – but nearly 25% of the world’s prison population – the U.S. leads the world in the incarceration of its own citizens.

“Against a backdrop of bipartisan support for criminal justice reform, the Sentencing Commission took several steps in recent years to reduce the federal prison population,” said Michael Collins, Policy Manager at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Their last reform will result in thousands being released from prison early and transferred to half-way homes. Many more are left behind, trapped under draconian mandatory minimums that only Congress can change. The Sentencing Commission has done its job – now, it’s time for Congress to take action.”

“This move has been in the pipeline since last year, but it’s no substitute for systemic reforms that cut off the cycle of mass incarceration. Congress still needs to pass comprehensive criminal justice reform,” added Collins.

Yesterday, Amy Schumer, Steph Curry, Ed Norton, Jesse Williams, Chris Pine, Russell Simmons, and Piper Kerman were among the nearly 100 celebrities calling for reform to our criminal justice system. The stars are joining the campaign led by #cut50, a bipartisan effort to reduce our incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years.

Drug Policy Alliance Fact Sheet: The Drug War, Mass Incarceration, and Race

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation

  • HellNo

    This is great news for the families of those non-violent drug offenders. After the rest of the drug offenders are released, maybe the bureaucrats running our prisons will have a new excuse other than over crowding to explain why prison gangs run their institutions.

  • Ted Mishler

    When are those responsible for participating on the war against cannabis users, when will they be in handcuffs for high treason?
    It is high treason to war against groups of people, so when are those so into warring against those they take an oath in office to protect, when will they see prison?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_treason
    3rd paragraph, second sentence… “Participating in a war against one’s native country”, and discrimination to prevent cannabis users from employment is unconstitutional, so when are those involved in high treason, and perjury to God when they took an oath to protect all people, but instead warred on the very people they swore an oath to God that they would protect, that is how they get in office, they take an oath, and when they commit perjury, their should be convictions for their criminal behavior, and all i see is them getting away with murder

  • Ted Mishler

    God Makes a flower for people’s health and to promote a smile
    haters and those who wish to treat the cannabis community as their slaves wish to look at those who use cannabis as bad and vile
    those diseased no goods should have no say
    if all they want is war and punishment for growing flowers, why does anyone listen to the idiots for anyway

  • Ted Mishler

    years ago, before prohibition of the cannabis communities constitutional rights
    before high treasonous traitors was out bullying people and looking for some cannabis user that they can fight
    infants were prescribed cannabis for their colic
    they were not prescribed pills by some ignorant alcoholics
    in the biblical days, Jesus used Kanehbos to heal people of their ills
    today, haters of our constitution would have Jesus in prison, and on some sort of deadly pills
    http://zzco.org/chris_bennett/christ.html
    they make it now it appears illegal to truth to be told
    as they have a truth embargo on the positive efficasy of cannabis and are not into allowing people to live very old
    back in the biblical days
    people would live hundreds and thousands of years using cannabis, but due to war, that doesnt happen as much today
    http://www.gotquestions.org/oldest-man-in-the-Bible.html
    i am all for peace and all, and i personally find violence disgusting
    seems to me more people should be outraged to know that to to the high treasonous traitors war against the usa people, that more people die from legal drugs than from all illegal drugs combined, so why do they look at those in office’s advice with obeyance and so trusting

  • Kelly Pheasant

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  • Kelly Pheasant

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