Prisoners Released Under Retroactive Application of New Drug Sentencing Guidelines
In November 2015, more than 6,000 prisoners serving time for federal drug convictions were released from prison early. The release happened as a result of new federal sentencing guidelines aimed toward reducing overcrowding in U.S. prisons. Currently, over half of all federal inmates are serving time for drug-related charges, according to the New York Times.
On July 18, 2014 the U.S. Sentencing Commission unanimously approved the retroactive application of its new drug offense sentencing guidelines, which it passed in April 2014. The new guidelines, coupled with retroactive application, mean reduced prison sentences for thousands of inmates incarcerated across the country for drug-related crimes.
Judges began reviewing prisoners’ petitions in November 2014, however, the amendment prohibited the release of any prisoner before November 1, 2015. The one-year delay was designed to give judges time to evaluate each case. It was also geared toward enabling law enforcement to ensure public safety as drug offenders gradually reintegrate into communities.
According to the press release issued by the Sentencing Commission, the amendment lowered the base offense levels in the Drug Quantity Table across drug types, resulting in reduced sentences for many drug offenders – including those currently incarcerated.
The retroactive application of the new guidelines could eventually reduce the U.S. prison population by approximately 46,000 offenders, according to the Sentencing Commission.
The Sentencing Commission also noted that a 2007 amendment and retroactive sentence reduction for crack offenders did not lead to a greater likelihood of drug-related recidivism.
Indiana Drug Crimes Defense
If you have been charged with a drug-related crime, you need experienced legal counsel on your side. Call Razumich Law, P.C. today at 317-989-1129 for a free consultation.