Current Actions

  • Tell Congress: Support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act

    S. 1917, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, is a bipartisan bill that would reduce some federal mandatory minimum sentences for certain gun and drug offenses, expand the "safety valve" exception for drug mandatory minimums, and allow some federal prisoners to earn time credits for completing rehabilitative programs in prison. FAMM supports many parts of this bill but wants it improved so that it helps more people. Tell your U.S. Senators today to support the bill! 

    Please note: If you cannot send a letter, it is because your U.S. Senators are already supporting the bill.

  • Tell Congress: Pass the Smarter Sentencing Act!

    Use FAMM's action center to tell your U.S. Senators to support and pass the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2017 (S. 1933). This bill, if passed, would cut the length of federal mandatory minimum drug sentences by half, make the Fair Sentencing Act's crack sentencing reforms retroactive, and expand the "safety valve" exception to mandatory drug sentences. Please take action to support this bill!

    Please note: If you cannot send a letter, it is because your U.S. Senators are already supporting the bill.

  • Tell your Massachusetts legislators "repeal mandatory minimums!"

     The Massachusetts Senate is considering a major criminal justice reform package! Contact your Senator and tell them to repeal mandatory minimums this year! 

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     Prior to your RE Kick-off / Design Session:

    Please have everyone review the on-demand videos

    And take the first 3 Fundamentals courses

    This information will inform you enough to be able to complete the workbook prior to your design session.

    You will return the workbook so the consultant can review prior to the session. 

  • A Small Victory Deserves Some Thanks

     Please help us thank Congressman Sensenbrenner for stopping a new mandatory minimum!

  • Tell Your U.S. Senators: Don't Treat Our Kids Like Sexual Predators. Oppose H.R. 1761.

    Congress is in danger of misapplying very long mandatory minimum sentences for producing and distributing child pornography to young people who engage in "sexting." Sexting occurs when young people consensually share sexually explicit photos or videos of themselves with romantic partners. Under H.R. 1761, a 19-year-old boy would get a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence for receiving a naked photo of his 17-year-old girlfriend on his smartphone. Sexting has become such a problem that 20 states have passed laws to exempt sexting from long mandatory minimums for child pornography production and distribution. Sexting may be unwise or reckless, but it is not what these long, mandatory minimum sentences were intended to apply to. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 1761, and now it goes to thh U.S. Senate for a vote. Contact your U.S. Senators today and tell them not to treat our kids like sexual predators.

  • Tell your Representatives to Oppose H.R. 1781

    Congress is attempting to double down on mandatory minimums to address the opioid crisis! Email your representatives and let them know that mandatory minimum sentencing is not the right solution!

  • Oppose H.R. 2851, SITSA Act

     Tell your members of the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose H.R. 2851, the SITSA Act. The bill, if passed, would create duplicative mandatory minimum sentences for synthetic drugs and analogue drugs. FAMM opposes this bill. 

  • Vote No on Back the Blue!

     Congress is attempting to turn an issue best handled by the states into a federal issue! Violence against law enforcement is never acceptable, but the Back the Blue act creates overly broad mandatory minimums for crimes already strictly enforced at the state level. 

  • Tell Your Representatives to Oppose Kate's Law

    Congress is trying to use failed and outdated policies to address immigration! Use this form to tell your representatives to oppose new mandatory minimums under Kate's Law, S. 45/H.R. 361. 

  • Tell Massachusetts State Legislature: Repeal Mandatory Minimums!

    Ask the Massachussetts State Legislature to repeal their mandatory minimum drug laws!  Members of the Massachusetts legislature have an opportunity to repeal their mandatory minmium drug laws. Use this form to contact your representative and urge them to support this necessary reform. 

  • Tell California State Assembly Members: Pass SB 180!

    Ask the California Assembly to pass SB 180! If passed, this bill would eliminate harmful sentencing enhancements for most drug offenses. To become a law, SB 180 must be passed by the full California Assembly,  so use our letter and ask for your Assembly member's support today!

  • Tell Congress: Read FAMM's report and support prison reform!

    Tell your members of Congress to read FAMM's new report and follow its recommendations on how we should reform federal prisons to increase rehabilitation and reduce crime. 

  • Tell Your Members of Congress: Support the Justice Safety Valve Act

    Please write to your members of Congress today and ask them to cosponsor the Justice Safety Valve Act. The identical bills (S. 1127, H.R. 2435) would, if passed into law, create a broad "safety valve" that would allow judges to give sentences other than the mandatory minimum sentence for any federal crime. Write your members of Congress now!

  • Tell California State Senators: Pass SB 180!

    Ask the California Senate to pass SB 180! If passed, this bill would To become a law, SB 180 must be passed by the full California Senate, so use our letter and ask for your Senator's support today!

  • Tell Iowa Senators: Pass HF 579!

    Ask the Iowa Senate to pass HF 579! If passed, HF 579 would repeal some of Iowa's mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws (which would be retroactive), give judges flexibility in other cases to avoid the mandatory sentence (not retroactive), reform Iowa's crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity (not retroactive), and allow judges to reconsider a person's sentence after they have spent one year in prison. To become a law, HF 579 must be passed by the full Iowa Senate, so use our letter and ask for your Iowa Senator's support today!

  • Thank Governor Scott for Supporting Smarter Sentencing

    On February 24, 2016 for the first time in more than 20 years Florida repealed a mandatory minimum sentence! FAMM has worked for years to reform Florida’s 10-20-Life gun sentencing law, which has created some of the worst injustices we’ve seen.

    Governor Rick Scott signed CS/SB 228 into law, which repeals the mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated assault with a firearm! Beginning July 1, 2016 – and for the first time since 1999 – judges will have discretion over sentencing in aggravated assault cases.

    Right now more than 200 people are serving mandatory minimum sentences in Florida for aggravated assault with a firearm. More importantly, aggravated assault represents nearly 60% of all gun crime in Florida. This reform significantly curtails the scope and impact of 10-20-Life, and guarantees no judge will be forced to impose a twenty-year sentence for a warning shot.

    Thank Governor Scott for recognizing that changing mandatory minimum sentencing laws is essential if we want to reduce prison populations, save taxpayer money, preserve our public safety budget, and make our justice system fairer.

  • Tell Maryland Lawmakers: Support Justice Reinvestment Act

    Use FAMM's action center to send an email to your Maryland state lawmakers asking them to support the Justice Reinvestment Act (SB 1005 / HB 1312) and Justice Reinvestment Act – Criminal Penalties (SB 1006 / HB 1313), bills that will make a "safety valve" exception for drug mandatory minimum sentences retroactive, eliminate any disparity between crack and powder cocaine, and give judges more flexibility when sentencing drug offenders. Act now! 

    Last year, Maryland signed a broad safety valve bill into law which allows judges to depart from certain mandatory minimum drug laws. The Justice Reinvestment Act (SB 1005 / HB 1312) would apply that safety valve retroactively, allowing those currently incarcerated a chance to petition for resentencing. In low-level drug mandatory minimum cases, the bill would also give more discretion to judges as it would shift the burden of proof onto the government. Lastly, the bill would eliminate the disparities between crack and powder cocaine sentences.

    A second proposal before the Assembly, the Justice Reinvestment Act -- Criminal Penalties (SB 1006 / HB 1313), would eliminate mandatory minimums for low-level drug offenders and reduce drug penalties for sentences that do not carry a mandatory minimum. These additional changes have support from the public, would reduce corrections costs, and would eliminate significant sentencing disparities currently at play in the judicial system.

    Tell your lawmakers to support the Justice Reinvestment Act (SB 1005 / HB 1312) and the Justice Reinvestment Act -- Criminal Penalties (SB 1006 / HB 1313). Act now!

  • Share your compassionate release story with the U.S. Sentencing Commision

    Last week, the United States Sentencing Commission held a special public hearing on compassionate release in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The Commission is considering writing new guidance for judges to use when considering motions from the BOP for the early release of a prisoner because of “extraordinary and compelling reasons.” During this hearing, the Sentencing Commission heard from experts in the field who offered testimony on the subject area. One such expert was FAMM’s Mary Price.

    FAMM is very interested in 1) expanding the criteria for compassionate release and 2) making sure the Sentencing Commission tells the Bureau of Prisons to do its part and ask the court for early release when the BOP finds a prisoner meets those criteria. Right now, the BOP rejects prisoners, even those who meet the criteria, if they think the prisoner does not deserve to be released. 

    The Sentencing Commission needs to hear real-life examples of the people affected by the BOP’s limited compassionate release policy. They are asking the public to comment on how to expand compassionate release and whether the Commission should encourage the BOP to act once it has determined the prisoner meets those criteria. FAMM says “Yes” to both.
    If your loved one has filed a petition for compassionate release, we ask you to please share your story with the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Tell them to urge the director of the BOP to not withhold a motion if a prisoner meets any of the qualifying circumstances for compassionate release. The Commission won’t be able to help with individual cases. And, it cannot make the BOP approve of more compassionate releases. But we believe hearing from you can influence the process. 

    Please note that the message needs to be edited by you in the second paragraph in order to share your story. 

  • Driver’s license bill in conference committee – your help needed!

    The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate passed different versions of the bill to get rid of automatic driver’s license suspensions for drug convictions. The Senate bill helps everyone with a drug conviction, while the House version leaves out anyone convicted of trafficking hard drugs. A six-member conference committee has been appointed to come up with a final version of the bill. Please tell your legislators to support the Senate version!

  • Driver’s license bill in conference committee – your help needed!

    The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate passed different versions of the bill to get rid of automatic driver’s license suspensions for drug convictions. The Senate bill helps everyone with a drug conviction, while the House version leaves out anyone convicted of trafficking hard drugs. A six-member conference committee has been appointed to come up with a final version of the bill. Please tell your legislators to support the Senate version!

  • Please vote to repeal the driver’s license suspension law

    Wednesday, January 6, the Massachusetts House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill to get rid of automatic driver’s license suspensions for drug offenses.  The Senate passed the bill in September and now the House will vote on it. Please tell your Representative to vote for this bill, which will help drug offenders make a successful transition from prison to the community.

  • Support the repeal of all mandatory minimums for drugs

    When Attorney General Maura Healey was running for office in 2014, we were delighted when she expressed support for the repeal of all mandatory minimums for drugs. But she is now retreating from that position so we need your help to get her back on track. 

    We want full repeal!  Please tell the Attorney General that you want her to stick with her original position. Send her an e-mail, then forward this message to your friends. We need our elected officials to support comprehensive sentencing reform, not piecemeal efforts.

  • Tell your senator to vote for the driver’s license bill!

    We are delighted to report that on Thursday, Sept. 24, the Massachusetts Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill to get rid of automatic driver’s license suspensions for drug offenses. Please tell your senator to vote for this common sense bill, now known as S.2014.  

    Like mandatory minimum sentencing laws, the driver’s license suspension law is a product of an outdated “war on drugs” mentality. It has nothing to do with protecting public safety. Instead, it simply continues the punishment of drug offenders after they have done their time and are trying to build new lives. As you will recall, in July FAMM testified before the Legislature’s Transportation Committee in support of this bill. On Sunday, the Boston Globe ran a good editorial supporting the bill. 

    Tell your senator to vote for common sense!  Fill in your zip code below to send an e-mail to your state senator. You can add your own comments after the suggested message.

    What happens next?  If the Senate votes to pass the bill, it will then be sent to the House. In order for the bill to become law, it must also be passed by the House and then signed into law by Governor Baker. So it’s not a done deal, but the Senate vote is a critical step in the process. FAMM will keep you posted on all developments.  

    Mandatory minimum bills.  The Judiciary Committee has not yet made any decision on the bills to repeal mandatory minimums. But please know that FAMM is busy working on the bills, and we are in constant contact with legislators and other officials. We will let you know as soon as there is something specific to report.

  • 70 Sponsors for Massachusetts Mandatory Minimum Repeal Bill!

    Thanks to your efforts, 68 legislators signed on to co-sponsor the Harm Reduction Caucus’ mandatory minimum repeal bill. With the two sponsors, Sen. Cynthia Creem and Rep. Benjamin Swan, that brings us to an unprecedented level of support – 70 legislators (59 representatives and 11 senators) calling for repeal from the very first step of the law-making process. We will need to keep up the pressure every step of the way, but this is a terrific start.

    Please take a moment to thank those legislators who co-sponsored the bill and to encourage those who didn’t on the need to support it. Over 5,000 bills were filed, so it’s possible that some lawmakers support drug sentencing reform even if they didn’t get around to co-sponsoring the bill. But it’s also important to tell them that, among those 5,000 bills, this one is a top priority for you.

  • Co-sponsors needed for new mandatory minimum repeal bill in Massachusettes!

    Over the past few months, FAMM has been working with the Legislature’s Harm Reduction and Drug Law Reform Caucus to draft a bill to repeal all mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. The bill would also make all drug offenders currently serving mandatory minimums eligible for parole after serving half of the mandatory minimum for their offense. This would go well beyond the 2012 reforms – which shortened some mandatory minimums – by getting rid of drug mandatory minimums altogether, and by making everyone who is already serving a mandatory minimums eligible for parole at an earlier date. The bill will be filed in the House of Representatives by Rep. Benjamin Swan and in the Senate by Sen. Cynthia Creem, both long-time champions of smarter drug sentencing laws. The deadline for legislators to file bills is this Friday, January16.

    Please ask your legislators to co-sponsor the bill! We need to show strong support for the bill right from the very start. The more legislators who co-sponsor the bill, the louder a message it sends to the rest of the Legislature about the growing demand for change. Even if your legislators don’t agree to co-sponsor the bill, you are still educating them on the need for smarter sentencing laws.

  • Co-sponsors needed for new mandatory minimum repeal bill in Massachusettes!

    Over the past few months, FAMM has been working with the Legislature’s Harm Reduction and Drug Law Reform Caucus to draft a bill to repeal all mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. The bill would also make all drug offenders currently serving mandatory minimums eligible for parole after serving half of the mandatory minimum for their offense. This would go well beyond the 2012 reforms – which shortened some mandatory minimums – by getting rid of drug mandatory minimums altogether, and by making everyone who is already serving a mandatory minimums eligible for parole at an earlier date. The bill will be filed in the House of Representatives by Rep. Benjamin Swan and in the Senate by Sen. Cynthia Creem, both long-time champions of smarter drug sentencing laws. The deadline for legislators to file bills is this Friday, January16.

    Please ask your legislators to co-sponsor the bill! We need to show strong support for the bill right from the very start. The more legislators who co-sponsor the bill, the louder a message it sends to the rest of the Legislature about the growing demand for change. Even if your legislators don’t agree to co-sponsor the bill, you are still educating them on the need for smarter sentencing laws.

  • Write your MA Lawmaker: Tell the budget conference committee to repeal the driver’s license suspension law

    The Massachusetts state Senate recently passed its budget for Fiscal Year 2015 (July 2014 through June 2015).  We are delighted to report that the bill includes an amendment that would end the automatic suspension of a drug offender’s driver’s license upon conviction.  This is great news!  The current law makes it harder for drug offenders to get back on their feet after serving their time.  They need to drive to work and school and to meet family obligations.  Now we need YOUR HELP to finish the job ! 

    What happens next?  The House FY 2015 budget that was passed in April is different from the Senate’s FY 2015 budget – it does not include language repealing the driver’s license suspension law.  The House and Senate must agree on a final budget to pass and send to the Governor to sign.  So a conference committee – three senators and three representatives – was just appointed to work out a compromise FY 2015 budget.  We need to make sure that the conference committee keeps the Senate language to end driver’s license suspensions for drug offenses.

    Contact your legislators!  Please send a message to both your state representative and your state senator.  Ask them to tell the conference committee to include the driver’s license suspension amendment in the final budget.  Then forward this message to five friends or relatives.  Legislators change the law when voters demand it.

    When would the amendment take effect?  Massachusetts first passed the law to automatically suspend drug offenders’ driver’s licenses in order to receive certain federal funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  However, states can “opt out” of the federal requirement and 33 states have already done so.  The amendment would take effect 60 days after Gov. Patrick notifies the Department of Transportation that Massachusetts has decided to opt out, too.  In addition to repealing the driver's license suspension law, the amendment would also seal all Registry of Motor Vehicles records about prior suspensions

  • Repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drugs offenses!

    On April 30, people from all across Massachusetts will be lobbying their state legislators to end mass incarceration and to build stronger, healthier communities, and you can too!  Send two messages, one to your state senator and one to your state representative.  When you enter your address, your message will be directed to the right people.  We have provided a sample message that you can use.  And after you are done, please forward this message to family and friends! 

  • Support HB 89

    The Florida House of Representatives will consider HB 89 – the House bill to reform 10-20-Life – TODAY! This means it is urgent that you contact your Representative and urge him or her to support HB 89. Like its Senate counterpart, HB 89 is absolutely crucial to the larger sentencing reform movement. We need your help to pass it.

  • Mandatory Minimums Must Go - States

    Use FAMM's action center to urge your state legislators to end inflexible, ineffective, and expensive mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Act now!

  • Tell Massachusetts lawmakers: I support drug sentencing reform! (Massachusetts residents, only)

    Massachusetts voters, voice your support for drug sentencing reform bills that are currently being considered. Use FAMM's action center to send a message to your state representative and senator.

  • Mandatory Minimums Must Go

    Use FAMM's action center to urge your U.S. representative and senators to end inflexible, ineffective, and expensive mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Act now!