While the President considers the U.S. Sentencing Commission appointments, judges and judicial-focused organizations are examining how the agency might better address the myriad ways its guidelines impact mass incarceration. The nation has an opportunity to reimagine how the Commission might use its authority to further decarceration efforts and address other system disparities through its guidelines and policy statements. During this symposium, judges, scholars and practitioners shared their thoughts on these topics and reflected on how legislation like the First Step Act has expanded the use of compassionate release and other opportunities for decarceration.
Throughout May, this virtual symposium offered weekly panels addressing how the U.S. Sentencing Commission can be supportive of federal alternative to incarceration programming, sentencing review mechanisms, promising practices from state sentencing commissions, and changes to the guidelines practitioners and other leaders in the field are interested in seeing once commissioners are appointed.