4-24-13 - FAMM Applauds Bipartisan Sentencing “Safety Valve” Bill in U.S. House of Representatives
FAMM President Julie Stewart today welcomed the introduction of H.R. 1695, the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, a bipartisan federal bill that would save taxpayers money and preserve scarce federal prison beds for the most dangerous and violent offenders. The legislation was introduced on April 24 by Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY), and referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. The Scott-Massie bill is identical to S. 619, introduced in the U.S. Senate.
“The introduction of this bipartisan bill is further proof that mandatory minimum sentencing reform is gaining steam,” said Stewart. “Congress set up mandatory minimum sentences that are sometimes right, but not always right. They put too many nonviolent offenders in prison for too long, forcing courts to use up prison space for people who aren’t a real threat. Members of Congress in both Houses are starting to recognize this costly problem and trying to fix it.” Read our press release and Julie's Huffington Post blog about the bill.
3-21-13 - FAMM Urges Passage of Safety Valve Bill
Stewart Testifies Before Congress, Urges Passage of the Justice Safety Bill Act of 2013
Testifying this morning before the U.S. House subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Bureau of Prisons (BOP), FAMM President Julie Stewart urged Congress to enact a broad sentencing “safety valve” in order to cut wasteful spending and reduce prison overcrowding.
Yesterday, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced S. 619, “The Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013,” legislation that authorizes judges to give less prison time than the mandatory minimum sentence requires when doing so would protect public safety and fulfill the goals of punishment. If enacted, the bill could save the DOJ and BOP money and prison space at a time when federal prisons are at 139 percent of their capacity and consuming a full quarter of the DOJ’s budget. Read more
1-16-13 - Sen. Leahy Calls for Repealing Mandatory Minimums
FAMM applauds the comments of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) at the Georgetown University Law Center this morning in Washington, DC. Senator Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, strongly opposes mandatory minimum sentences and called today for their repeal and reform at the state and federal level. Chairman Leahy included mandatory minimum sentencing reform in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s priorities for the 113th Congress. Read more.
1-1-13 - 113th Congress Begins
The 113th Congress began in January 2013. It will be in session for the next two years. As federal sentencing bills - good and bad - are introduced, FAMM will track them on this page. All bills that were introduced in the 112th Congress but did not pass into law by December 31, 2012, are now dead (i.e., they no longer exist). To read a summary of what happened in the 112th Congress, click here.
2012 News From D.C. Archive
2011 News From D.C. Archive