News Releases

Seeks to curb recidivism by helping prisoners successfully re-enter society
Murray: Bill is “a strong step forward for our justice system”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) announced her support for the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, a bill that aims to appropriately adjust prison sentences for certain nonviolent drug offenders, while cracking down on violent criminals such as domestic abusers. The bill would also grant judges greater discretion in sentencing for lower-level drug crimes and work to help offenders stay out of prison once they are released.


This legislation would help bring much-needed reforms to sentencing for non-violent offenders and take a strong step forward for our justice system,” said Senator Murray. “For too long, one-size-fits-all punishments have put so many Americans behind bars for long periods of time for drug use when treatment and rehabilitation would better serve them and their communities. We should provide flexibility in sentencing for low-level offenders while maintaining tough sentences for those who deserve it, such as domestic abusers, drug cartel members, and other violent criminals, to help keep the most dangerous offenders off our streets.”


Today, nearly one in every 100 adults is incarcerated, and the United States has the largest prison population in the world. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 narrows the scope of mandatory minimum prison sentences to focus on the most serious drug offenders and violent criminals, while broadening and establishing new outlets for individuals with minimal non-felony criminal histories that may trigger mandatory minimum sentences under current law. The bill also reduces certain mandatory minimums, providing judges with greater discretion when determining appropriate sentences, and preserves cooperation incentives to aid law enforcement in tracking down kingpins.


Read more about the bill here, and read the bill text here.


The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 was introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, and is also cosponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tim Scott (R-SC), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Christopher A. Coons (D-DE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Al Franken (D-MN), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rob Portman (R-OH), Rand Paul (R-KY), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY), and Joni Ernst (R-IA).