DOJ: Change Federal Sentencing Guidelines


In a detailed letter to the US Sentencing Commission, policymakers at the Department of Justice recommend robust changes to the Federal sentencing guidelines. In some cases policymakers outline how rigid Federal guidelines lead to long sentences for offenders, but in other instances such as cyberstalking and environmental crimes, the DOJ asks the sentencing commission to consider more serious charges. The letter than goes on to layout changes in structural sentencing reform, by learning from the simpler state system.

Other recommendations include explanations of how to approach prior convictions in sentencing, review of supervised release violators, and the definition of controlled substance abuse. Policymakers also caution the commission about the use of risk assessment tools in sentencing decisions saying, “basing criminal sentences, and particularly imprisonment terms, primarily on such data–rather than the crime committed and surrounding circumstances—is a dangerous concept…”

Read the letter here.

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