U.S. Sentencing Commission Amendment 782 Approval Timeline
June 2013 – The U.S. Sentencing Commission solicits public comment on its priorities for the 2014 guideline amendment cycle.
July 2013 – Prisology, only weeks old, springs into action, and prompts thousands of support letters which are sent to the Commission requesting an across the board reduction to the federal drug sentencing guideline table.
August 2013 – U.S. Sentencing Commission votes unanimously to consider a potential reduction of federal drug sentences noting its statutory duty to “reduce overcapacity in federal prisons.”
January 2014 – Sentencing Commission formally proposes change to federal drug sentencing guidelines, reducing them by two levels, and solicits public comment on their proposal. Prisology begins grassroots push for public support of guideline change via its website and within the federal prison system.
March 2014 – Sentencing Commission holds hearing on proposed amendment to federal drug sentencing guideline.
April 2014 – Sentencing Commission unanimously approves drug guideline amendment. Commission Chair notes that they received over 20,000 letters supporting the amendment, most of which came at Prisology’s prompting.
Commission seeks public comment on amendment retroactivity, which will make all low level, first time, nonviolent drug offenders currently serving time eligible for reduced sentences and early release under the new guidelines. Prisology renews its public education and outreach effort, using its website, social media, and prison network to prompt a strong grassroots response in support of retroactivity.
June 2014 – U.S. Sentencing Commission holds hearing on retroactivity of Amendment 782. Prisology’s Executive Director Brandon Sample testifies in support. Read Prisology’s written testimony here.
July 2014 – U.S. Sentencing Commission unanimously approves retroactivity of drug guideline amendment, formally known as Amendment 782. Commission chair acknowledges receipt of over 60,000 letters in support of retroactivity. Prisology’s website alone generated more than 10,000 of those positive public comments. Federal prisoners submitted an additional 45,000 letters, the result of Prisology outreach.
November 2014 – Amendment 782 takes effect. Up to 46,000 federal prisoners become eligible to apply for sentence reductions and early release. When fully implemented, the guidelines could save taxpayers $4 billion.
November 2015 – Earliest scheduled release of low level, first time, nonviolent drug offenders under the new sentencing guidelines.