December 2013: Legislative Changes on the Horizon

With this Holiday Season quickly approaching, the rumor mill is in overdrive and we are receiving countless inquiries about “new laws” that may affect federal defendants and federal inmates. We are writing to share with you what we see on the horizon.

First, In August 2013, the United States Sentencing Commission announced that it will review and possibly consider amending the drug sentencing guidelines across “all drug types” by reducing the guidelines by two full levels. This could be a very important and positive development for those charged with drug possession and distribution charges. Please keep in mind it is only under consideration and will brought up before the Commission in the Spring of 2014 and if approved will sent to Congress by May 1, 2014 and take effect on November 1, 2014.

Second, in terms of Congressional legislation, there are many bills currently pending before the 113th Congress. These bills (click highlighted to read the bills) range from amending the Good Time Creditto 50% for non violent inmates above age 45 to eliminating mandatory minimums, to expanding the “Safety Valve” to reducing sentences for elderly inmates. However, these bills are bogged down in Committee and it doesn’t appear likely that any will pass before year’s end. However, the 113th Congress lasts until December 31, 2014 and it is important—if not imperative—- that action be taken on these and many other bills currently before Congress. We urge all to contact their Congressperson or Senator and urge support of these bills. To find your Representative Click here. To find your Senator Click here.

We plan on regular updates and will keep you informed of any relevant changes in the federal criminal justice system. In the meantime, we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season and a New Year that will bring you and your loved ones together more quickly. Feel free to contact NPSC for additional information.