Oct 22 2015

Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced that he has co-sponsored the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, and worked with the bill’s original co-sponsors to include language in the manager’s amendment that requires the Department of Justice to review each candidate for early release on a case-by-case basis. Tillis’ language is included in the bill that will be voted on by the Senate Judiciary Committee later today.
The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which was the result of a landmark bipartisan compromise, recalibrates prison sentences for certain non-violent drug offenders while also targeting violent criminals and adding two new mandatory minimum sentences. The legislation also seeks to reduce recidivism through education, job training, drug rehabilitation, and faith-based programs.
Under the legislation, sentencing courts must consider a multitude of factors when considering the reduction of the mandatory minimum sentence of a defendant. The language proposed by Senator Tillis adds an additional layer of accountability by also requiring the Department of Justice to conduct a particularized inquiry of the facts and circumstances of each defendant.
“During my tenure as Speaker of the House in North Carolina, I worked across party lines to help enact the most significant sentencing and corrections reform effort undertaken in decades.  Today, North Carolina is seeing the results of that effort, as we are responsibly lessening our investment in corrections and reinvesting those savings in community programs that reduce crime and build safer communities,” said Senator Tillis. “Although it is not perfect, I’ve co-sponsored the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act with the hope that we can accomplish similar outcomes at the federal level. After consulting with members of the law enforcement community, the Department of Justice, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I worked with my fellow committee members to include a commonsense provision that aims to provide additional accountability and safeguards at the federal level.”