July 5, 2016, It Appears The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act Will not Pass this Year

It appears the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act is dead. As Congress prepares to adjourn on July 15, 2016 and not return to session until after Labor day, I fear that I am writing the obituary for the much heralded (and needed) Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. (S.2123) applicable to many federal inmates serving unduly lengthy federal prison terms. The SRCA would have reduced certain federal mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses, established programs to reduce the number of repeat offenders and allow for programs for federal inmates to reduce the amount of time they spend in prison. However, due to political jockeying and failed negotiations by Senators on both sides of the aisle, it appears the bill is dead. Although Congress can consider the bill after its return after Labor Day, it will only have 5 weeks in which do so. Since it has taken 18 months for the bill to even get out of Committee, it seems unlikely that Congress will be able to agree to bring the bill to a vote in those five weeks and before Election Day. If the SRCA is not passed before Election Day, federal sentencing reform will have to start all over again. With election day just a few months away, perhaps our readers and subscribers, should determine the position of their Senator and Congressperson come election day and vote accordingly. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this bill, federal sentencing or federal prison, please feel free to call NPSC at 615-696-6153.