November 28, 2018
The Sentencing Project Calls on Congress to Pass First Step Act
In a letter sent to Senate and House leadership, The Sentencing Project urged Congress to move quickly to pass the sentencing reform measures in the First Step Act (S.3649) "to help create a safer, more equitable and fairer justice system."
November 20, 2018
Policy Proposal: Instate 15-Year Maximum Wait For Parole Eligibility
Expedited parole consideration for people serving parole-eligible life sentences and the reinstatement of parole for all sentences would serve as a realistic challenge to mass incarceration and provide a better approach to advancing public safety.
November 09, 2018
The Sentencing Project Launches Campaign to End Life Imprisonment
Join The Sentencing Project & Public Welfare Foundation on December 4th for our campaign launch and release of The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences.
November 07, 2018
State Criminal Justice Reform and the 2018 Midterms
Voters across the nation considered a number of criminal justice reform measures—ranging from voting rights to sentencing reform.
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’.
November 05, 2018
State Advocacy News: Retroactivity and Criminal Justice Reform
Voters decide on ballot proposals for retroactive sentencing and the restoration of voting rights to people with felony convictions.
November 05, 2018
Long-Term Sentences: Time to Reconsider the Scale of Punishment
Unduly long prison terms are counterproductive for public safety and contribute to the dynamic of diminishing returns as the prison system has expanded.
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.
October 30, 2018
Race & Justice News: Blacks Disproportionately Arrested for Marijuana in Alabama
Blacks in Alabama were four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in 2016 as whites, L.A. County deputies disproportionately stop Latinos to find drugs, and more in Race & Justice News.
October 22, 2018
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.
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.
October 20, 2018
Marc Mauer Named “Frederick Douglass 200” Awardee
The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Marc Mauer has been named a "Frederick Douglass 200" Awardee for his continued scholarship and advocacy that has impacted "anti-incarceration activism around the country."
October 17, 2018
Expanding the Vote: Two Decades of Felony Disenfranchisement Reforms
Since 1997, 23 states have amended felony disenfranchisement policies in an effort to reduce their restrictiveness and expand voter eligibility.
Kimberly Haven’s journey as an advocate began when she sought to regain her own voting rights after release from a Maryland prison in 2001. She soon became passionate about the unfairness of disenfranchising citizens after they have completed their sentence and returned to the community.