1. Legislative Ask
  2. Criminal Justice

Support Sentencing Reform


Disproportionally long prison sentences for certain crimes, combined with laws that prevent successful re-entry into civilian life, have created a system of mass incarceration that doesn’t work, cost too much and unfairly impacts the poor and people of color.

Call for introduction and passage of sentencing and prison reform.

  • The U.S. is the world’s leader in incarceration, with 2.2 million people in prison or jail—five times as many as there were 40 years ago. Most of this increase is due to changes in state and federal sentencing laws, not increases in crime.
  • U.S. laws, as applied, unequally burden people of color. One in three black men in the U.S. will be incarcerated at some point in his life. African Americans serve nearly as much time in prison for non-violent drug offenses (58.7 months) as whites do for violent offenses (61.7 months).
  • Most of U.S. prisoners are in state and local jails. But federal prisons hold thousands of people serving long mandatory sentences for drug-related crimes. This bill focuses on reducing those sentences.
  • The costs of the prison system are too high. Taxpayers are footing the bill to keep nonviolent drug offenders locked up for many years, and communities suffer from the loss of too many of their members.

FCNL Contact: José Woss, jwoss@fcnl.org