Prisology was born in July 2013, and barely a year old when it achieved its first major victory – a huge win by a very new nonprofit dedicated to criminal justice system reform.
NOVEMBER 2014: Prisology Helps Reduce Harsh U.S Drug Sentences – brings up to 46,000 low level drug offenders home early, saving taxpayers $2.4 billion
In a major victory, Prisology and 75,000 of its supporters rallied to convince the U.S. Sentencing Commission to adjust its drug quantity penalties downward by two levels retroactively – potentially reducing prison sentences for up to 46,000 low level, non-violent drug offenders by an average of 25 months, potentially saving $2.4 billion for taxpayers.
Under these new retroactive Amendment 782 guidelines, known as the “Drugs Minus Two” amendment, offenders became eligible to apply for sentence reductions in November 2014, with first releases on or after November 1, 2015.
Prisology and Supporters Critical to Amendment 782 Passage
Key to the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s unanimous approval of Amendment 782 was its receipt of over 75,000 comments favoring the reform, mostly prompted by an intensive email, letter writing and social media campaign organized by Prisology.
Prisology participated in the Sentencing Commission process from the start, giving key testimony at the June 2014 hearing supporting retroactivity. “Amendment 782 marks a sea change for prison reform – a first step toward restoring justice to our broken criminal justice system,” says Prisology Executive Director Brandon Sample.
“It’s a huge victory for fairness, for prisoners who received overly harsh punishment for minor offenses, and for their families,” says Prisology General Counsel Jeremy Gordon. “It’s also a victory for the nation, with up to 46,000 offenders allowed to return home and to begin contributing to our society and economy again. The decision also reduces overcrowding in federal prisons and could save taxpayers $2.4 billion in prison costs.”
The First of Many Victories
Prisology’s Amendment 782 victory was a big win for prisoners, their families and the nation – but only the first of many victories to come.
In January, 2015, Prisology began rallying its supporters to respond to a U.S. Sentencing Commission request for comments to reform federal sentencing guidelines for economic fraud and white-collar crime. Those comments are already pouring in to Prisology’s Montpelier, Vermont office.