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.
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’.
October 10, 2017
Race & Justice News: One-Third of Black Men Have Felony Convictions
The number of black men with felony convictions has significantly increased over the past 30 years, American Indian and Alaska Native jail counts have doubled since the late 1990s, and more in Race and Justice News.
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.
September 21, 2017
South Carolina Legislature must reform life-without-parole sentences
South Carolina has started down the road to criminal justice reform — a beginning, but it is a long road. A legislative package designed to accelerate the state’s progress ought to include consideration of reforms to long-term sentences.
September 12, 2017
Black Disparities in Youth Incarceration
Despite long-term declines in youth incarceration, the disparity at which black and white youth are held in juvenile facilities has grown. As of 2015, African American youth were five times as likely as white youth to be detained or committed to youth facilities.
September 07, 2017
Disenfranchisement News: ACLU invests $5M in Florida campaign to restore voting rights
ACLU commits millions to help put voting rights referendum on Florida's 2018 ballot, judge says Alabama does not have to inform voters about new voting rights law, and more in Disenfranchisement News.