District of Columbia Sentencing Commission

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DC Sentencing and Criminal Code Revision Commission Became the DC Sentencing Commission

Saturday, October 1, 2016
On October 1, 2016, the DC Sentencing and Criminal Code Revision Commission became the DC Sentencing Commission. As of that date, the Commission’s criminal code revision mandate and duties, previously set forth under D.C. Official Code § 3-101.01, were transferred to a new DC Government agency: the DC Criminal Code Reform Commission.
The DC Sentencing Commission will continue to fulfill its mandate under D.C. Official Code § 3-101(b) to:
(1) Promulgate, implement, and revise a system of voluntary sentencing guidelines for use in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia designed to achieve the goals of certainty, consistency, and adequacy of punishment
A) Seriousness of the offense;
(B) Dangerousness of the offender;
(C) Need to protect the safety of the community;
(D) Offender's potential for rehabilitation; and
(E) Use of alternatives to prison, where appropriate;
(2) Publish a manual containing the instructions for applying the voluntary guidelines, update the manual periodically, and provide ongoing technical assistance to the court and practitioners on sentencing and sentencing guideline issues;
(3) Review and analyze pertinent sentencing data and, where the information has not been provided in a particular case, ask the judge to specify the factors upon which he or she relied in departing from the guideline recommendations or for imposing what appears to be a noncompliant sentence;
(4) Conduct focus groups, community outreach, training, and other activities designed to collect and disseminate information about the guidelines;
(5) Review and research sentencing policies and practices locally and nationally, and make recommendations to increase the fairness and effectiveness of sentences in the District of Columbia; and
(6) Consult with other District of Columbia, federal, and state agencies that are affected by or address sentencing issues.
The Commission’s physical and web address, office location and contact information have not changed.