The U.S. Sentencing Commission is considering concrete “methods to improve” policies that result in harsher punishments for Native Americans living on reservations.
The same commission raised the alarm about sentencing disparities more than a decade ago, but apparently little was done with the recommendations. In the past five years, the number of Native Americans in the federal prison system has jumped 27 percent, according to the Journal.
Back in 2002, the U.S. Sentencing Commission (an independent agency that’s part of the judicial branch of government) found that Native Americans “receive longer sentences than their non-Native counterparts in state court,” according to the advisory’s report published in 2003.
In the years since, even federal judges have publicly condemned the policies. A North Dakota federal judge in 2013 called these policies an “injustice under the law.”