A great conversation with Senator Flake's office about mandatory minimums and the expectations of individual states concerns over crime and prison reform.
February 20, 2016 Response from Senator Flake:
Dear Mr. Wieland:
Thank you for contacting me about S. 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015.
As you know, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced S. 2123 on October 1, 2015. This legislation would allow judges greater discretion in applying mandatory minimum sentences for certain non-violent drug-related offenses. In so doing, this bill aims to reduce the costs associated with housing federal inmates by focusing limited resources on the most serious offenders. While S. 2123 would not repeal any mandatory minimum sentencing requirements, it would reduce mandatory minimums for certain offenses. In addition, it would retroactively apply such reductions, after a court considers the violence of the crime, the extent of the defendant's cooperation, and the defendant's criminal history. These considerations would take place in a proceeding subject to the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
I am a cosponsor of S. 2123, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, where it is pending further consideration.
Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to do so again in the future. I also encourage you to visit my website, which may be found at flake.senate.gov.
United States Senator
February 18, 2016 Initial Letter to Senator Flake:
I am writing today concerning the nation's growing felon population. I have written a book that may help some of your state's population get back on their feet as a contributing member of society. Estimates put the total felon population, those in and out of prison, at roughly 20 million. A felony conviction restricts a person's ability to find decent housing, secure employment and a beneficial social standing. Along with these restrictions is the increased chance of re-offending due to the lack of resources available to offer felons help.
My book, Chains of Change, provides the general path of success many people may take to improve their lives. It is written from my perspective, that of a convicted felon, to offer help for other convicted felons, their friends and family. This guide focuses on simple and straightforward advice to help felons get back on their feet and deal with the public sigma of "criminal."
This book is meant for any felon, or their family and friends that may be trying to help get a loved one's life back in order. It goes through the steps in organizing the life of a convicted felon and how to approach many of the hurdles that get in the way of simple happiness and security.
You can learn more about the book at http://jmwieland.com where there are links to purchase the book from Amazon. Thank you for your time and I wish you the very best in your endeavors.
Queen Creek, AZ