June 2, 2014: Retro-activity of Drug Guidelines Amendments

As many of our subscribers and clients are aware, the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) voted unanimously to amend the federal sentencing guidelines for drug offenders by reducing the guideline level by 2-points. In other words, the base offense level for a specific drug quantity will now be two points lower. This change will result in most federal drug offenders serving 11-18 months less time in prison. Equally important is that RIGHT NOW the USSC is accepting public comment on whether the amendments should be applied retroactively and it is accepting comment and input through July, 7, 2014. If it does vote to apply the amendments retroactively USSC staff estimates, 51,141 offenders who will be incarcerated in the federal prison system on November 1, 2014 would be eligible to seek a reduction in their current sentence. If the courts were to grant the full reduction in sentence possible in each case, the average reduction in sentence would be 18.4 percent. Approximately 4,600 offenders would be eligible for immediate release on November 1, 2014.

We urge all to write or email your comments to the USSC at public_comment@ussc.gov.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call National Prison and Sentencing Consultants at 615-696-6153 or email us at help@nationalprisonconsultants.com