August 04, 2017
Life Sentences, Long Sentences Imposed on Youth Need 2nd Look
As young people age and mature they develop the capacity to make different choices, writes Ashley Nellis in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.
August 01, 2017
Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview
The United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed before turning 18. This briefing paper reviews the Supreme Court precedents that limited the use of JLWOP and the challenges that remain.
Lawrence and Lamont Garrison
Sentences for federal drug crimes are based on the quantity of the drugs involved, not the individual’s role in the crime. The emphasis on quantity rather than the role of the offender, along with the conspiracy laws, too often result in disproportionate sentencing, even for first-time offenses such as the Garrisons’.
July 27, 2017
The Sentencing Project's Comments to U.S. Sentencing Commission on 2018 Policy Priorities
The Sentencing Project asks the Commission to take a fresh look at the guidelines structure to determine if sentence lengths are sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to achieve the goals of sentencing.
July 21, 2017
Texas should stop spending billions to incarcerate so many people for life
It costs $1 million to incarcerate someone for life. Texans must ask themselves whether they want to continue spending billions, despite diminishing public safety benefits associated with lengthy prison terms.
July 20, 2017
Disenfranchisement News: Illinois jail allows in-person voting
Cook County Jail allowed in-person voting for the first time in almost a decade, lawsuit seeks to have Alabama educate people about new voting rights law, and more in Disenfranchisement News.
July 17, 2017
Race & Justice News: Disparities in New Jersey Traffic Tickets and Marijuana Arrests
Racial disparities in New Jersey’s marijuana arrests are at an all-time high, Los Angeles may have decriminalized illegal street food vending in response to Trump's immigration policies, and more in Race and Justice News.
July 07, 2017
Next step for Louisiana prison reform is to review life sentences
Louisiana lawmakers still need to prioritize changes to its long-term and life sentences, which account for nearly 1 of every 3 state prisoners, writes Ashley Nellis in an op-ed for NOLA.com.
June 29, 2017
State Advocacy Update: Texas Set to Close 4 Prisons
Recently, state lawmakers have taken steps to address high rates of incarceration. These policy reforms ranged from deciding to close state prisons, changing sentencing laws, and improving college access for persons with criminal convictions.
As a previously incarcerated person who had his voting rights restored in 1996, Denver Schimming knew the power and importance of voting. His years in prison taught him that the criminal justice system could change only if impacted people spoke out. After his incarceration, voting was one of his highest priorities.
June 28, 2017
Incarceration Rates in an International Perspective
A nation’s rate of incarceration is the number of people incarcerated as a proportion of its total population. Internationally, there is broad variation in the degree to which nations incarcerate their citizens, with a nearly 40-fold difference between the highest and lowest rates. The incarceration rate is often interpreted as a measurement of the degree of punitiveness in a society, although it is an imperfect measurement.
June 26, 2017
Race & Justice News: Police Officers Speak More Respectfully to White Drivers
Police body camera footage shows Oakland police officers speak more respectfully to white drivers than black drivers, Native Americans are three times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and more in Race and Justice News.
After his release in June of 2004, Andres Idarraga became a full-time student at Brown University studying comparative literature and economics while maintaining full-time employment. Idarraga saw his right to vote as a significant and crucial aspect to rebuilding his life and to contributing to his community.