The U.S. Sentencing Commission is considering whether the recent changes made to the federal sentencing guidelines for crack cocaine offenses should be made retroactive.
In his testimony before the Commission, The Sentencing Project’s Executive Director Marc Mauer argues that retroactivity would be consistent with the goals of the Fair Sentencing Act passed by Congress last year; it would make a significant contribution toward reducing racial disparities in the federal prison system; and, it could provide a significant population reduction in overcrowded federal prisons.
The Commission is expected to vote on this issue later this month. If the guidelines are applied retroactively to persons currently serving a prison term for crack, an estimated 12,000 people will receive an average sentence reduction of about three years.
To read Mauer’s testimony, download the PDF below.