Code of the District of Columbia

§ 3–101. District of Columbia Sentencing Commission.

(a) The District of Columbia Sentencing Commission (“Commission”) is established as an independent agency within the District of Columbia government, consistent with the meaning of the term “independent agency” as provided in § 1-603.01(13).

(b) The Commission shall perform the following duties:

(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, with due regard for the:

(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.

(c) The Commission is designated as a criminal justice agency for purposes of accessing offender and sentencing related data required to perform the duties specified under this chapter.