Public Meeting - May 25, 1993

Minutes of the May 25, 1993

United States Sentencing Commission Business Meeting


The meeting was called to order at 2:02 p.m. by Chairman William W. Wilkins, Jr., in the conference room of the Sentencing Commission. The following Commissioners, staff, and guest participated:

  • William W. Wilkins, Jr., Chairman

  • Julie E. Carnes, Commissioner

  • Michael S. Gelacak, Commissioner

  • Roger Pauley, Acting Ex Officio Commissioner

  • Phyllis J. Newton, Staff Director

  • Paul K. Martin, Deputy Staff Director

  • John R. Steer, General Counsel

  • Linda Maxfield, Senior Research Associate

  • Michael Quinlan, Consultant

  • Magdeline Jensen, Probation and Pretrial Services

Commissioners Mazzone and Nagel were unable to attend.


Chairman Wilkins introduced Charles Harrison and Kirsten Swisher, both who have recently joined the Office of General Counsel as law clerks, and Probation Officer Ricardo Esparza (W.D. TX), on temporary assignment to the Commission.

Motion made by Commissioner Carnes to adopt the minutes of the April 19, 1993, meeting. Passed unanimously.

The Commission tentatively agreed to the list of priorities identified in the May 18, 1993, memorandum. Staff Director Newton stated that Commissioner Nagel requested that the Commission focus particularly on research type issues.

Staff Director Newton briefed the Commission on the purpose statement for the Crack Study Working Group. She stated that the working group expects to have a draft to the Commission by September 1, 1993, but that Commissioner Nagel believed that date to be too ambitious. Commission Nagel asked that staff meet with Commissioners to determine parameters of the study.

Michael Quinlan reported on the statutory requirement mandating that the Commission, in conjunction with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), review maximizing prison resources, modernizing facilities, and utilizing military facilities. With regard to existing facilities, Mr. Quinlan reported that BOP has redesigned future and existing facilities to be more efficient, with increased capacity. With regard to inmate classification issues, Mr. Quinlan reported that more inmates are able to be kept in low and minimal security facilities because of the recently revised classification system used. With regard to military facilities, BOP has been successful in converting other structures, including military installations, into prison facilities. He stated that the report also discussed the need to adopt more intermediate sanctions. In response to a question by Mr. Pauley, Mr. Quinlan stated that escape rates under the new classification system have decreased.

Dr. Maxfield reported that the Commission's National Symposium on Drugs and Violence in America would take place in three weeks and that everything was progressing smoothly. She also reported that President Clinton would not be able to deliver the keynote address, but that Attorney General Reno has agreed to present the address.

Chairman Wilkins announced that the Commission would meet June 16 and July 27, 1993.

Chairman Wilkins announced that there would be a Sentencing Institute for the Fourth and Sixth Circuits on September 8-10, 1993, and one for the Tenth Circuit and those who were not able to attend previous institutes on August 15-18, 1993. The Commission will send a letter offering the Commission's assistance and expertise to Judge Matsch, who is in charge of planning for the Tenth Circuit Sentencing Institute.

Chairman Wilkins adjourned the meeting into executive session at 2:23 p.m.