Senator Durbin introduces prison reform act
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) -- along with nine bipartisan senators -- rolled out the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 to further resolve the crisis of mandatory minimums and prison overspending and overcrowding at a conference held Oct 7.
“Mandatory minimum sentences were once seen as a strong deterrent. In reality they have too often been unfair, fiscally irresponsible and a threat to public safety," Durbin told Metro East Sun.
Senator Durbin's bill allows for judges to exercise greater discretion when sentencing non-violent drug offenders.
In 2010, his Fair Sentencing Act reduced the amount of federal convictions for crack and cocaine drug offenders. The new introduction of his current legislation could mean that nearly 6,000 inmates convicted before the Fair Sentencing Act passed could receive sentence reductions.
“This bill is the best chance in a generation to make meaningful changes in our federal drug sentencing laws. We cannot squander it. Congress should pass this bipartisan legislation to relieve our overcrowded prisons, help keep our communities safe, and ensure the integrity of our justice system,” Durbin said.
Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) co-sponsored the bill with Durbin.
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