Today the Sentencing Commission allowed for delayed retroactive application of Amendment 821 relating to criminal history—meaning that certain currently incarcerated individuals could be eligible for reduced sentences made effective beginning on February 1, 2024 (unofficial text).
The Commission voted to delay implementation of any order granting such reduced sentences to ensure that, to the extent practicable, all individuals who are to be released have the opportunity to participate in reentry programs and transitional services that will increase the likelihood of successful reentry to society.
U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves, Chair of the Commission said, “Our decision today is one that brings hope to thousands of currently incarcerated people and their families. We listened to a full spectrum of views and considered the full costs associated with incarceration balanced with the time needed to review petitions and prepare for successful reentry.”
The Commission estimated in its July 2023 Impact Analysis that retroactive application would carry a meaningful impact for many currently incarcerated individuals:
- 11,495 incarcerated individuals will have a lower sentencing range under Part A of Amendment 821 relating to “Status Points” with a possible sentence reduction of 11.7%, on average.
- 7,272 incarcerated individuals would be eligible for a lower sentencing range based upon the established criteria under Part B of Amendment 821 relating to “Zero-Point Offenders” with a possible sentence reduction of 17.6%, on average.