U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) announced that he has signed on as an original co-sponsor to a landmark bipartisan bill to bring common sense and flexibility to federal criminal sentencing laws. The Smarter Sentencing Act would allow courts to make individualized assessments in nonviolent drug cases, ensuring that limited resources are focused on the most serious offenders, while maintaining public safety.
"The number of federal mandatory sentences has doubled during the last 20 years, putting the Federal Bureau of Prisons at nearly 40 percent over capacity, and the safety of both guards and inmates at risk," said Davis. "Congress needs to be smart and sensible when it comes to criminal sentencing and, specifically, mandatory sentences. I believe that this commonsense, bipartisan legislation accomplishes that while modernizing our drug sentencing policies and enabling judges to take an individual review of a case without putting public safety at risk."
During the past 30 years, the number of inmates in federal custody has grown by 500 percent, with nearly half of them serving sentences for drug offenses. Spending on federal incarceration has grown by more than 1100 percent. Today, it costs about $29,000 per year to house just one federal inmate. The Smarter Sentencing Act could save up to $1 billion in incarceration costs per year by providing an incremental approach that does not abolish any mandatory sentences.