The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee voted 15 to 5 today to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, which would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, expand early release programs and expand the federal “safety valve”, (which gives judges discretion to give an individual a sentence lower than the mandatory minimum).
“This vote today is a huge step toward ending the failed policies of the war on drugs,” says Michael Collins, Policy Manager at the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “To see Republicans and Democrats join hands to pass this bill gives me great hope we’ll have legislation on the President’s desk very soon.”
A poll released last week shows that Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of this type of criminal justice reform, with 77% in support of repealing mandatory minimums for nonviolent offenses.
The measure is now up for a vote in the full Senate.