Commissions are becoming very popular and in order to address real sentencing issues with The Sentencing Project has submitted comments to the United States Sentencing Commission regarding priorities for the Commission's focus for 2008-09. Here's an excerpt of the letter, click below to read the entire letter ...
Expand Alternatives to Incarceration in Federal Guidelines
The Sentencing Project strongly supports the Commission’s consideration of alternatives to incarceration during its upcoming amendment cycle. As highlighted at the Commission’s July 2008 symposium, Crime and Punishment in the United States: Alternatives to Incarceration, states are taking bold steps to reduce prison populations by expanding the use of alternative sentences that divert offenders from incarceration. We urge the Commission to follow suit and expand the federal sentencing guideline ranges for nonviolent offenses to include non-imprisonment sentencing options in a broader range of cases.
Over 200,000 people are incarcerated under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, making it the largest prison system in the country. The population doubled in the period 1995-2005, largely due to a jump in incarcerations for drug and public order offenses. Violent offenses were responsible for less than 10% of the increase in the prison population over this period. These high rates of incarceration for nonviolent offenses, and the significant cost associated with imprisonment, highlight the need to reduce the federal prison population by diverting individuals serving sentences for these low-level offenses from prison.
Click to read the whole letter