Families Against Mandatory Minimums
Molly Gill is the government affairs counsel for Families Against Mandatory Minimums. She spoke on the Earning Freedom network to discuss crucial work FAMM does to educate policymakers, members of the media, and ultimately, members of Congress on the injustices associated with mandatory-minimum sentences. Mandatory-minimum sentences treat everyone who is convicted of a particular crime the same. In her brief time assisting with the prosecution of cases, Molly had an up-close and personal view of the injustices associated with mandatory-minimum sentences. She took action to bring meaningful change.
Since Congress began to make widespread use of mandatory-minimum sentences in the late 1980s, our country’s prison population has surged. We lead the world in the number of people we incarcerate. As Justice Anthony Kennedy and Attorney General Eric Holder have said, our country incarcerates far too many people, and prisoners serve sentences that are far too long. Mandatory-minimum sentences represent part of the reason that our nation’s prison population levels have grown at record numbers.
When Molly joined FAMM eight years ago, few members of Congress had any interest in supporting legislation that would lead to sentencing or prison reform. Times have changed. On today’s podcast, Molly spoke about unprecedented support all political parties offer for meaningful reforms. Still, reform is a heavy lift.
Fighting for Sentencing and Prison Reform to End Mass Incarceration
The Smarter Sentencing Act is one of the most promising bills that Molly is striving to advance in Congress right now. Sponsors of that bill include Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians. If Congress passes the legislation, and the President signs the Act into law, the reform would result in a 50% cut to some federal mandatory-minimum drug sentences. Further, the new law would provide retroactivity to earlier legislation that would benefit 8,000 people who qualify for relief from draconian crack-law sentences.
Despite the need for sentence and prison reform, Molly and her team at FAMM need more support. They need people to contact members of Congress and express why our nation’s commitment to mass incarceration and mandatory-minimum sentences represent the greatest social injustice of our time. The Earning Freedom network can help. Please visit FAMM’s website’s “Get Involved” tab. Simply follow the prompts. You can sign an online petition that will result in your voice being heard by members of Congress. Please join us in being the change that you want to see in the world.