November 30, 2017
Race & Justice News: Equity in the Burgeoning Marijuana Industry
LA City Council considers “social equity” program to help marginalized groups participate in the cannabis business, black immigrants face disproportionate deportation risk, and more in Race and Justice News.
November 16, 2017
State Advocacy News: Justice Reform Starts With You!
Contact us to discuss your 2018 advocacy plan for state criminal justice reform!
Willie Mays Aikens
In 2008, Willie Mays Aikens made headlines when a federal judge reduced his lengthy prison term to 14 years as a result of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s adjustment to the crack cocaine sentencing guidelines. Aikens was released in June 2008.
November 08, 2017
The Sentencing Project's 2017 Annual Newsletter
Despite this changing political environment we have made strides in advancing justice and helping to shape a reform agenda for both policymakers and the advocacy community in 2017.
November 07, 2017
Amicus Brief in Vote v. Louisiana, Louisiana Felony Disenfranchisement Case
The Sentencing Project, NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed an amicus brief highlighting the racial discrimination inherent in Louisiana's felony disfranchisement law.
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.
November 02, 2017
Disenfranchisement News: Virginia campaign ad attacks restoration of voting rights
Coming two weeks before the state’s gubernatorial election, Republican candidate Ed Gillespie released a video attacking Democratic candidate Ralph Northam’s efforts to aggressively expand voting rights to people with felony convictions.
October 26, 2017
Testimony to DC Council’s Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety on the Youth Rehabilitation Amendment Act of 2017
Nazgol Ghandnoosh testifies in support of DC's Youth Incarceration Act (YRA), but encourages the Council to go further by increasing investments in prevention and raising the age of YRA eligibility to 25.
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, 2017
Still increase in racial disparities in juvenile justice
We should celebrate the declines in incarceration among youth of all races and ethnicities. But let’s not overlook the way these changes aren’t benefiting all our children in the same way.
October 13, 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.
October 11, 2017
Public Comment on USSC’s “First Offenders/ Alternatives to Incarceration” Proposed Amendment
The Sentencing Project, Human Rights Watch, Gamaliel and the ACLU applaud the Sentencing Commission’s consideration of an amendment to increase the availability of sentences of alternatives to incarceration within the federal sentencing guidelines.
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.