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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.
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State Advocacy News: Justice Reform Starts With You!
November 16, 2017

State Advocacy News: Justice Reform Starts With You!

Contact us to discuss your 2018 advocacy plan for state criminal justice reform!
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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.
publications
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.
publications
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.
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Kimberly Haven

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.
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Disenfranchisement News: Virginia campaign ad attacks restoration of voting rights
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.
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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.
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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.
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Still increase in racial disparities in juvenile justice
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.
publications
October 13, 2017

Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview

Josh Rovner
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.
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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
October 12, 2017

Latino Disparities in Youth Incarceration

Latino youth are 65 percent more likely to be detained or committed than their white peers.
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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.
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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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