For an extended discussion, please view the complete history of the Commission here.
Congress enacts the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (amended in 1996), providing grants for states that implemented truth-in-sentencing policies. A major provision was that persons convicted of violent offenses serve at least 85% of their imposed sentence.
Congress enacts the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997 (the “Revitalization Act”). This legislation created the Truth in Sentencing Commission (“TIS Commission”) which was directed to develop recommendations to the Council of the District of Columbia on amendments to the District of Columbia Code with respect to sentences imposed for felonies committed on or after August 5, 2000. The Act also eliminated parole and mandated determinate sentencing for most violent felonies in the District of Columbia.
The TIS Commission presents its formal recommendations to the Council of the District of Columbia. The Council accepts the TIS Commission’s proposals which become the Truth in Sentencing Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-165, D.C. Code § 24-403.01). The TIS Commission also submits a report on outstanding issues for the Council of the District of Columbia to address.
The Council of the District of Columbia creates the District of Columbia Advisory Commission on Sentencing with the mandate to make recommendations consistent with the Revitalization Act (Advisory Commission on Sentencing Establishment Act of 1998, D.C. Law 14-28, D.C. Code 3-101, et seq.).
The Advisory Commission on Sentencing issues recommendations to the Council of the District of Columbia. The Council adopts these recommendations in the Sentencing Reform Act of 2000 (D.C. Law 13-302, D.C. Code §24-403.01) and directs the Commission to research whether structured sentencing is appropriate for D.C. and, if so, recommend the type of structured system that would work best.
The Advisory Commission on Sentencing recommends the adoption of voluntary sentencing guidelines for the District of Columbia.
The Council of the District of Columbia enacts the Advisory Commission on Sentencing Structured Sentencing System Pilot Program Amendment Act of 2004. On June 14, 2004, the District of Columbia Superior Court begins imposing sentences under the Voluntary Sentencing Guidelines for all felony offenses. The Council also makes the Commission a permanent agency, renaming it the District of Columbia Sentencing Commission (D.C. Law 50-190).
View legislation for the Advisory Commission on Sentencing Structured Sentencing System Pilot Program Amendment Act of 2004
The Council of the District of Columbia enacts the Advisory Commission on Sentencing Amendment Act of 2006, mandating that the Commission examine the criminal code and make comprehensive recommendations that provide for a uniform and coherent body of law. This legislation also changed the name of the Commission to the District of Columbia Sentencing and Criminal Code Revision Commission (D.C. Law 16-126, D.C. Code 3-101, et seq.).
In October 2010, the Commission approved its first piece of recommended legislation concerning the revision of the criminal code. The Fine Proportionality Act of 2011 proposes to create proportionality in criminal fines by establishing one provision that links the fine amount to the maximum term of imprisonment for an offense. This will standardize fines across felonies and most misdemeanors in the District’s criminal laws.