October 1, 2015 The Senate introduces the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015
The “Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act “finally came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Please remember it is just a bill and is not yet law. IF passed by the Senate and the House and signed by President Obama it will do the following: 1. Most significantly it would reduce the use of mandatory minimums in many drug cases and reduce mandatory minimums in others while expanding its use for certain other crimes. 2. Under the Act, certain eligible prisoners would get slotted into risk categories based on how likely they were to commit another crime. Low- and medium-risk prisoners could get reduced sentences of 5 (medium risk inmates) to 10 days (low risk inmates) for every month they participated in prison programming (like education or a prison job) and maintained good behavior. Such inmates may also receive a benefit of up to 25% of their time in a Residential Re-entry Center or Home Confinement. However, this aspect of the bill is not to take place for 6 years. 3. Expand the use of the “safety valve” to include offenders with up to 4 criminal history points. It does not increase good time however to a blanket 65%. A copy of the 141 page bill can be found here.