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Measure 11 report gets national award November 20, 2011

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , 5 comments

A report by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission about mandatory minimum sentences has earned it a top national award.

The report formally is known as “Longitudinal Study of the Application of Measure 11 and Mandatory Minimums in Oregon,” by Michael Wilson, Craig Prins, and Kelly Officer. It won the 2011 Phillip Hoke Award from the Justice Research and Statistics Association, and is presented to statistical analysis centers for translating statistics and research into informational reports on public policy.

The Oregon report won the award in the category of research/policy analysis for small centers with five or fewer full-time professional staff members. There are only two categories, and awards in each category are given to small and larger centers.


Mandatory Minimum Sentences Criticized November 14, 2011

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Update from FAMM President Julie Stewart:

The case against mandatory minimums grows stronger every day!!!

On October 31, the U.S. Sentencing Commission released a comprehensive new report criticizing the most widely used mandatory minimum sentencing laws. The report echoes many of the arguments that FAMM has been making against mandatory sentences for years.

To make sure that the politicians and public heard about the new government report, FAMM distributed a press statement and I published an op-ed outlining some of the report’s major conclusions. Then, just this morning, The New York Times weighed in with an outstanding editorial that cites the new report as a sufficient basis for repealing all mandatory minimums. Of course, we couldn’t agree more.

There is a lot of work to do to make it happen, but every day our case gets a little stronger.


Another shot at justice November 1, 2011

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , 2 comments

From Julie Stewart, FAMM President:

Today over 12,000 people in federal prison serving sentences for crack cocaine violations get another shot at justice! As of today, they can apply for sentence reductions that could shave up to three years off their sentences!


This opportunity is the last step in the crack cocaine reforms that started in 2010 when Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act. This change was long overdue, but it would never have happened without your help.


As soon as the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to make the crack guideline changes retroactive, we prepared information to help FAMM members understand how to take advantage of this opportunity!  We are thrilled to learn that many members are getting out today and many more will follow in the months ahead.

If you work for FAMM, contribute to FAMM, or simply support our mission, days like today are among the best. Abstract ideas of justice and fairness become very real – as real as the individuals walking through a prison gate and into the waiting arms of their loved ones.

If you know someone who is still uncertain as to whether they are eligible for relief or how to obtain early release, please consult FAMM’s fact sheet.


Unfortunately, not all prisoners will benefit from the new crack sentences, especially those subject to mandatory minimum sentences. Only Congress can make the Fair Sentencing Act’s changes to the crack mandatory minimum sentences retroactive. Bipartisan legislation to accomplish that goal has been introduced but has not received consideration.

To all our members who will be rejoining their families and communities today and in the coming months, we wish you nothing but the best. Stay in touch. To those families still fighting for a second chance, please know that your fight is our fight – and we have a lot of fight left in us.