On Tuesday, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law filed comments in response to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s notice of proposed amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines. These guidelines help federal judges determine appropriate sentence for federal offenders.
In the comments, the Brennan Center supports the Commission’s amendment to reform drug trafficking sentence recommendations. This modest reform would reduce sentences for most federal drug offenders by an average of 11 months, or almost 18 percent. If enacted, it is projected to reduce the federal prison population by 6,550 prisoners over the next five years. As such, it represents a meaningful step towards reducing mass incarceration at the federal level, in line with the momentum building in other branches of government.
“The Commission’s amendments to the drug guidelines directly addresses a significant driver of the growing federal prison population,” said Jessica Eaglin, Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program. “We commend the Commission for taking an important step towards comprehensive criminal justice reforms at the federal level.”