Senate Judiciary Committee passes Durbin's sentencing reform act
The Senate Judiciary Committee last week passed the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 by a vote of 15-5.
The legislation was co-authored by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). It allows judges to issue lower mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses and also makes the Fair Sentencing Act retroactive, potentially shortening terms for thousands of inmates incarcerated on drug-related charges.
“Today, on a bipartisan basis the Judiciary Committee took a big step toward solving a massive problem," Durbin said. "This compromise bill represents many years of work on criminal justice reform. The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country on earth. 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. Given tight budgets and overcrowded prison cells, our country must reform these outdated and ineffective laws that have cost American taxpayers billions of dollars. This is how the Congress is supposed to work."
The bill now moves on to the full senate for debate.