Legislative Updates Relating to Federal Prison and Federal Sentencing

December 06, 2017

In an effort to keep our clients and readers up to date, we have listed below many of the pending bills currently in Congress to reform either federal prison related matters and federal sentencing matters. Readers should keep in mind, that these are just bills and have not become law and unless, they come out of Committee, approved by both the House and Senate and signed by the President they will notbecome law. It is indeed a lengthy, arduous and clearly political process but one that can be overcome providing we all participate in the political process. It is imperative and this stage that all with an interest in any of these pieces of legislation contact their Congressperson or Senator and urge that the vote for passage. We have also provided a link, so readers can check the current status of these bills and a brief summary as well as the actual text of the bills:

1. Justice Safety Valve Act – R. 2435 / S. 1134 (115th Congress) This bill would allow a federal judge to sentence defendants without regard to mandatory minimums under certain circumstances.

2. SAFE Justice Act – R. 4261 (115th Congress). This bill takes many positive steps at reform the federal criminal justice system and a detailed summary of those changes can be found here

3. Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act – 1917 (115th Congress) This bill would limit the use of mandatory minimums as well as expand the use of the safety valve giving federal judges much more flexibility in imposing individualized sentenced. In addition, it would provide certain inmates with the ability to earn additional good time credits.

4. Smarter Sentencing Act – 1933 (115th Congress) This bill would reduce certain mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses and expand the safety valve.

5. Mandatory Minimum Reform Act – R. 3800 (115th Congress) This bill would eliminate mandatory minimums for federal drug offenses except for those at the highest level of a drug conspiracy.

6. CORRECTIONS Act – 1994 (115th Congress) Although very detailed and rather complex, generally this bill would allow more federal inmates to spend more time in less restrictive environments such as halfway houses, and home confinement.

As always, if you have any questions about any of these bills feel free to contact National Prison Sentencing Consultants at help@nationalprisonconsutants.com or at 615-696-6153.