Readout of Justice Department Leadership Meeting with FAMM
Yesterday, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta met virtually with members of FAMM and a number of individuals and their families who have been impacted by the federal criminal justice system. Department leadership had an opportunity to hear personal stories about how the new earned time credit rule and home confinement policies have changed lives.
The meeting focused on the positive real-world impact of the finalization of the First Step Act Time Credit Rule, and the recent memorandum by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) concerning home confinement, as well as the need for Congress to pass the EQUAL Act. The department has strongly urged Congress to pass the EQUAL ACT, which would reduce the disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine sentences from 18:1 to 1:1.
The Attorney General emphasized that meetings like these are “vitally important” to help department leadership understand how its “policies on paper affect people and their communities.”
During her remarks, Deputy Attorney General Monaco spoke about the importance of implementing the First Step Act and the Time Credit Rule and praised the work of FAMM. She noted that “as of this month, thousands of people are returning to their communities having put in the work to do so.”
In Associate Attorney General Gupta’s opening remarks, she reiterated the importance of hearing from individuals directly impacted by the criminal justice system and shared that the department provided written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the EQUAL Act in June 2021, saying, “the current sentencing differential between crack and powder cocaine is not based in evidence and yet has caused significant harm in particular to communities of color. It’s past time to correct this.”