[JURIST] US Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates on Monday voiced the Obama’s administration’s support [press release] for the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 [S 2123]. The bipartisan legislation would reduce the prison sentences of some nonviolent drug offenders whose sentences have overwhelmed the criminal justice system’s correctional facilitates. Speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee Yates said, “[t]his bi-partisan bill recalibrates some of our sentencing laws, invigorates recidivism-reduction programs and provides added protections to juveniles, all designed to make our communities safer and our system more just.” On Saturday President Barack Obama spoke in favor of criminal justice reform, noting [press release] that the US houses 2.2 million prisoners compared to the prison population of 500,000 30 years ago.
In July Obama spoke at the NAACP Annual Convention and urged [JURIST report] Congress to reform the criminal justice system by enacting legislation that would enforce criminal laws fairly and reduce sentencing disparities. Earlier that week Obama commuted the sentences [JURIST report] of 46 drug offenders in what he said was part of an effort by his administration to remedy the unfairness of the criminal justice system. In 2010 Obama signed legislation that reduced the sentencing disparity [JURIST report] between crack and powder cocaine offenses from 100:1 to 18:1.