New DOJ Guidelines to End Crack/Powder Disparity Are a Step in the Right Direction

Contact: Rachel Hooper, [email protected] 

WASHINGTONMaya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after U.S. Attorney General Garland announced new policies on crack and powder cocaine charges, pleas, and sentencing:   

“This is a big win and a historic step in the right direction toward eliminating the unjust disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentencing. The crack/powder disparity created a harmful and racially discriminatory sentencing scheme that continues to target and criminalize Black and Brown communities. We commend Attorney General Garland for addressing this wrong, and we are proud to support him.  

“We strongly urge Congress to take bold steps to transform our criminal-legal system. Congress needs to pass the EQUAL Act now to provide retroactive relief and finally eliminate the crack/powder sentencing disparity once and for all.”  

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has advocated for an end to mandatory minimums and the crack/ powder cocaine disparity for decades. Our most recent letter in support of the EQUAL Act can be found here

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit