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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec 22, 2023) –In response to President Biden’s announcement today that he commuted 11 federal prison sentences, Kevin Ring, vice president of criminal justice advocacy at Arnold Ventures, issued the following statement: 

When Congress fixes a flawed sentencing law, people punished for their crimes under the old law do not automatically get their sentences adjusted. Thousands of people are serving lengthy federal prison terms they would not receive if they were convicted today – sentences that far outweigh their crime, break apart families, and do not help to keep communities safe. We applaud President Biden for using his clemency power to fix 11 such sentences this morning. 

Making all sentencing reforms, including those contained in the First Step Act, retroactive would strengthen American communities and families, improving safety and stability by providing a pathway for those who are incarcerated for select nonviolent crimes to rebuild their lives. Until Congress acts, the president is right to use his authority to fix these injustices.” 

Watch Ring’s recent appearance on C‑SPAN, where he spoke with Americans about important issues in criminal justice reform today. 

Arnold Ventures is a philanthropy dedicated to tackling some of the most pressing problems in the United States. It is a team of more than 120 subject-matter experts headquartered in Houston with offices in New York and Washington, D.C. It works in five key issue areas: Criminal Justice, Education, Health, Infrastructure, and Public Finance. Its work is guided by Evidence-Based Policy, Research, and Advocacy.