On October 13, 2017, the United States Commission on Civil Rights issued a Statement supporting certain provisions in the Senate’s bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017. The bill proposes to reduce mandatory minimum sentences for certain nonviolent offenses, restore judicial discretion in sentencing in more cases, move sentencing levels down in many cases so that low-level crimes are adequately but not excessively punished, and make retroactive sentencing reductions in crimes involving crack cocaine prior to the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. U.S. Civil Rights Commission Chair Catherine E. Lhamon said,
The sentencing reduction provisions in this legislation are necessary to hew closer to the fair administration of justice in our country, and ensure that the criminal justice system does not more harshly judge marginalized communities without basis. I urge Congress to take swift action to correct these injustices.
Established in 1957 by the Civil Rights Act, the Commission on Civil Rights is the only independent, bipartisan federal agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters and issuing an annual federal civil rights enforcement report.