Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crack Sentencing Retroactive



I have great news!  The U.S. Sentencing Commission just voted to make retroactive last year's changes to the crack sentencing guidelines!

As a result of today's vote, an estimated 12,040 will be eligible to ask the court for reduced sentences. Average sentence reductions are expected to be 37 months.

I wish you all could have been there with the dozens of FAMM members and me when the Commission tallied its vote this afternoon. The feeling of justice being done was palpable.

My heart is filled with gratitude today for everyone who helped us win this great victory, which would have seemed unthinkable just five years ago.  I am so thankful to the tens of thousands of you who wrote to the Commission, shared your personal stories, and encouraged FAMM over the years.

I am grateful to the members of the Sentencing Commission who responded to facts, not fear.

And I am proud of our spirited team at FAMM that works hard every day to restore fairness and common sense to our nation's sentencing laws.

On a personal note, I want to tell you this: Last year, when Congress passed the Fair Sentencing Act, I had very mixed feelings. As I wrote to you then, I was thrilled to get rid of the 100:1 disparity, but I thought it was cruel not to provide relief to those already serving excessive sentences.  But I knew we had to take what we could get and then

keep fighting... and keep fighting... and keep fighting!

Now we have won the first half of crack sentencing retroactivity:  The crack sentencing guideline has been made retroactive. We will now turn our attention to Congress to try to persuade it to make crack cocaine mandatory minimum sentences retroactive, too.  

But for today, I am absolutely thrilled that 12,040 individuals -- including many, many FAMM members -- will benefit from the Commission's action.

What a great day!

My best,


Julie Stewart
FAMM President and Founder

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