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Meaningful federal sentencing reform was recently a widely bipartisan-backed issue.[1] Sensible reform was gaining steam and a path forged to reduce the burgeoning prison population of low-level drug offenders. But with the Attorney General’s recent memo to all federal prosecutors, the hope for such reform in the near future is all but dead. The Attorney…

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”[1] Few presidents, if any, match the effort President Obama made towards criminal justice reform. As a priority in his administration, Obama was the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. He commuted “more federal sentences than [his] eleven predecessors combined.”[2] He “consoled the families of fallen…

Drugs are a major problem in our society leaving many individuals trapped in a vicious cycle that controls their lives. The desperation caused by drugs can lead individuals to make very serious decisions with very serious consequences. Often, those consequences become part of a circle leading to deeper desperation and reliance upon substances. How do…

Recently, the Minnesota legislature[1] proposed reforms that could affect a large number of individuals facing prosecution for crimes with outdated sentences in state court.[2] Minnesota sentencing reform proposals like these are a positive sign that indiscriminately incarcerating individuals is being seen less and less as a viable option. The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission[3] voted in favor…

In the United States, more than 2.2 million people are currently serving prison sentences. That is a staggering number of individuals who not only are unable to contribute to society, but for whom society must provide. It is widely accepted that some individuals deserve punishment and that others must be separated from the general population. But,…

Federal sentencing reform continues to gain momentum in Congress. Today, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to send the Sentencing Reform Act (H.R. 3713) to the House Floor. Similar to other bills, the Sentencing Reform Act aims to reduce the federal prison population, especially for those offenders serving harsh mandatory minimum drug sentences. This bill…

As prison overcrowding and costs continue to reach new stratospheres, the push for significant federal sentencing reform on drug offenses is at its peak. The House already introduced the SAFE Justice Act[1] and the Senate should emerge with its bill any day now.[2] The movement is powerfully backed by all parties. Most lawmakers agree we…

“We cannot allow our criminal justice system to remain on its current trajectory. . .[i]t’s not only fiscally unsustainable, but morally irresponsible.”[1] Recently, President Obama became the first United States President to visit a prison while Commander in Chief. One of his remaining domestic policy goals is sentencing reform. And, for good reason: the nation’s…

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