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publications
February 06, 2018

Letter in support of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act

As the Judiciary Committee prepares to consider the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act this month, The Sentencing Project writes to offer its endorsement of the bill’s passage.
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Thousands are stuck in prison — just because of the date they were sentenced
February 05, 2018

Thousands are stuck in prison — just because of the date they were sentenced

Kara Gotsch
Sometimes unfair laws punish people who deserve a second chance. We cannot allow the random day on which people are sentenced to prison be their primary obstacle to justice.
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Theresa McIntyre Smith

In 1999, Theresa Smith was arrested at an airport after she met a drug courier in Roy Mercer’s network and according to the government, identified a suitcase containing eleven kilograms of cocaine for the courier. Smith said she had been told by Mercer that the suitcase contained his nieces’ clothes. For this first-time non-violent offense, Smith was sentenced to a ten-year mandatory prison term.
publications
January 31, 2018

Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2017

In recent years a number of states have enacted reforms designed to reduce the scale of incarceration and impact of the collateral consequences of a felony conviction. This briefing paper describes key reforms undertaken in 2017.
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Race & Justice News: Kansas Disregards Racial Profiling Complaints
January 22, 2018

Race & Justice News: Kansas Disregards Racial Profiling Complaints

Kansas law enforcement has not confirmed any of the 592 racial profiling complaints filed over the past five years, racial disparities decline in U.S. prisons, and more in Race and Justice News.
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Dorothy Gaines

Dorothy Gaines's life changed when Alabama state police raided her home for drugs. Police found no evidence of Gaines having possessed or sold drugs, yet federal prosecutors charged Gaines with drug conspiracy.
publications
January 22, 2018

Testimony to the MO Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence on Raise the Age

Josh Rovner
Senate Bill 793 provides necessary reform to align Missouri with the vast majority of states, including all of its neighbors, in addressing 17-year old offending in the juvenile justice system.
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New Jersey Enacts Law to Examine Racial and Ethnic Impact of Sentencing Changes
January 17, 2018

New Jersey Enacts Law to Examine Racial and Ethnic Impact of Sentencing Changes

On his last day in office, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed racial and ethnic impact statement legislation that will provide an opportunity for lawmakers to address the state’s high rate of racial disparity in incarceration.
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Kemba Smith

At 24 years old, Kemba Smith was sentenced to 24.5 years in prison for conspiracy to participate in her boyfriend's drug activities, a non-violent, first-time offense. For years, her parents galvanized a tireless movement seeking clemency for their daughter.
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Jared Kushner's Prison Reform Plan Doesn't Promise Much
January 12, 2018

Jared Kushner's Prison Reform Plan Doesn't Promise Much

Marc Mauer
Jared Kushner hosted a listening session for President Donald Trump on prison reform. Unfortunately, his plans don’t inspire much optimism, nor do the actions of the administration thus far.
publications
January 10, 2018

Oklahoma’s Life-Sentenced Population Rising Faster than National Trends

Oklahoma CURE and The Sentencing Project
Oklahoma has increased its life-sentenced population steadily over the past 20 years to the point where one in eight prisoners is now serving life.
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December 01, 2017

James Inge

James Inge is one of 300 individuals age 60 or older sentenced to life imprisonment in Pennsylvania. Learn more about his campaign to give rehabilitated seniors serving life a second chance.
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Disenfranchisement News: Re-enfranchised black voters helped push Doug Jones to victory
December 21, 2017

Disenfranchisement News: Re-enfranchised black voters helped push Doug Jones to victory

The strategic effort by various entities to turnout black voters in Alabama included targeting newly re-enfranchised individuals with felony convictions.
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State Advocacy News: Tools to Reform Life Sentences
December 20, 2017

State Advocacy News: Tools to Reform Life Sentences

State advocates are initiating hard conversations to challenge extreme sentences.
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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’.
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