Senator Grassley Introduces the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act—Again

In addition to the legislation discussed below, On October 5, 2017 Senator Grassley has introduced S.1917 – The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017. Similar—but not identical— to the bill that died in the Senate in 2015, this bill would give the judge the discretion in a 10-year mandatory minimum drug case to drop the mandatory minimum to 5 years if the defendant has no drug or violent priors, did not use violence in the crime of conviction, was not a leader or organizer of the offense and admitted the crime to the government. Cooperation for this benefit is NOT required. In addition, it establishes recidivism reduction programs to facilitate successful reentry. For a synopsis of the complete bill, please click here.  In obtaining assistance in investigating or researching a potential  federal sentence reduction or for more information call National & Sentencing Consultants at 615-696-6153 or email us at help@nationalprisonconsultants.com

Summer 2017 Legislative Updates-Federal Prisons

July 24, 2017: Summer 2017 Legislative Updates-Federal Prisons

With the Summer halfway through, the federal prison rumor mill is in full swing.  First, there are still many inquiries here at NPSC about the so called “65% Law” which would, if passed, increase the good time for federal inmates from 15% to 35%.  While there are several bills introduced into the 115th Congress, none of them will involve increasing federal good time, we are sorry to say.

Second, there is also a prevalent rumor that all federal prison camps will be closed and that those inmates would be released in a Residential Re-Entry Center or Home Confinement.  Such is pure rumor and there are no such plans by the Trump Administration or the Federal Bureau of Prisons to do so.

However, there are several bills that would certainly benefit federal offenders or federal inmates If passed.

First, there is a bill in both the House and the Senate, known as the Justice Safety Valve Act (H.R. 2435/S. 1134 (115th Congress), which if approved would allow the court to avoid imposing a mandatory minimum sentence by applying the “safety valve” in all cases not just controlled substances cases. In order to do so, the Court must find that imposing a mandatory minimum sentence does not comply with the goals of sentencing as enumerated in 18 U.S.C. §3553(a).  We at National Prison & Sentencing Consultants strongly support the passage of this bill and we urge all to contact their Representative and Senators to support these bills.

Second, there is H.R. 64, Federal Prison Bureau Nonviolent Offender Relief Act of 2017 (115th Congress) which would allow nonviolent elderly inmates (over age 45) who have a clean prison record and who have completed half their sentence to be released.  This bill, or some similar bill, has been introduced into Congress over the last 6 or 7 years with no progress or serious consideration.  John Webster, NPSC’s Managing Director, does not believe that this bill has any chance of being passed under the current Administration or Congressional composition.

As most know, the current state of acrimony between and among both chambers of Congress and the Trump Administration, along with a fractured Republican party, lead us to believe that there will be no significant legislation affecting federal inmates of federal offenders at least until after the 2018 elections.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us at help@nationalprisonconsultants.com  or at 615-696-6153