Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act

May 07, 2018

Since 2015, when Senator Grassley introduced the bipartisan supported Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (SRCA), it looked like there would soon be a ray of very substantial hope for many federal inmates and those facing federal charges at the time or in the future. Initially, the SRCA, generally speaking, comprised two parts: Legislation that would reduce federal sentences for a large number of federal inmates and defendants AND prison reform that involved allowing many federal inmates to receive certain rehabilitative credits that would ultimately allow them to serve more of their time in Comprehensive Sanction Centers, Residential Reentry Centers and in-Home Confinement. With respect to sentencing reform, the bill would have, at a minimum, expanded the use of the “safety valve” and reduce several mandatory minimums. However, it appears that the Senate is not at all interested in approving the federal sentencing reform aspect of the bill and appears to be poised to only consider the prison reform aspects of the bill. Although from 2015 through 2018, the progressive winds of change were moving in the right direction in terms of smarter sentencing whereby inordinately long periods of incarceration were being curtailed and meaningful second chance opportunities were becoming available. By all current accounts, it appears that sentencing reform is no longer a realistic possibility. It is time for all to contact their Senators and Representatives and advocate for true and meaningful federal sentencing reform