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2018 FZ0 District of Columbia Sentencing Commission

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The mission of the District of Columbia Sentencing Commission (the Commission) is to implement, monitor, and support the District’s voluntary sentencing guidelines; promote fair and consistent sentencing policies; increase public understanding of sentencing policies and practices; and evaluate the effectiveness of the guidelines system in order to recommend changes based on actual sentencing and corrections practice and research.

Summary of Services

The Commission advises the District of Columbia on policy matters related to criminal law, sentencing, and corrections policy. The Sentencing and Criminal Code Revision Commission Amendment Act of 2007 established permanent voluntary felony sentencing guidelines and requires the Commission to monitor and make adjustments as needed to promote sentencing policies that limit unwarranted disparity, while allowing adequate judicial discretion and proportionality. The sentencing guidelines provide recommended sentences that enhance fairness so that offenders, victims, the community, and all parties will understand the sentence, and sentences will be both more predictable and consistent. The Commission provides analysis of sentencing trends and guideline compliance to the public and its representatives to assist in identifying sentencing patterns for felony convictions. In addition, the Advisory Commission on Sentencing (ACS) Amendment Act of 2006 requires the Commission to undertake a multi-year study of the DC Criminal Code reform, including analysis of current criminal statutes and developing recommendations for revisions to the District’s Criminal Code that promote clarity, consistency, and cohesiveness within the District’s Criminal Code.