Action Alert: Tell Your Senators to Eliminate Appalling Sentencing Disparities Between Crack and Powder Cocaine
It is time to end the disparity in prison sentences between crack and powder cocaine-related offenses. Urge your Senators to vote YES on the EQUAL Act!
In 1986, the Anti Drug Abuse Act created a 100:1 disparity between the federal mandatory minimum sentence for crack and powder cocaine. Almost a quarter century later, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, reducing the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine to 18:1. Although this was a step towards fair sentencing, people still face longer sentences for offenses involving the same amount of the same drug based on preconceived prejudices about crack cocaine and the people who use it.
Despite research indicating that Black and white people use crack cocaine at similar rates, an estimated 81% of individuals convicted of crack cocaine-related offenses in 2019 were Black. In Fiscal Year 2020, 76.8% of people sentenced for crack cocaine offenses were Black. It is clear that the crack cocaine sentencing disparity is rooted in racism and bias, rather than evidence, and is used as a tool to further mass incarceration, particularly in communities of color.
Last month, the House of Representatives took another step in the right direction by passing the bi-partisan EQUAL Act with a significant margin.
We need your support to get the EQUAL Act passed in the Senate! In less than one minute, you can tell your Senators to vote YES on the EQUAL Act to repeal the racist and unjust sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine!