Fact Sheets
Featured Video
  • National Press Club Forum: A 25-Year Vision for Criminal Justice Reform
  • Unlocking Justice: Alternatives to Prison
State Contacts
January 29, 2013 (The Sentencing Project)

The State of Sentencing 2012

The State of Sentencing 2012, a new report from The Sentencing Project, highlights reforms in 24 states that demonstrate a continued trend to reform sentencing policies and scale back the use of imprisonment without compromising public safety. The report provides an overview of recent policy reforms in the areas of sentencing, probation and parole, collateral consequences, and juvenile justice.

Highlights include:

  • Mandatory minimums - Seven states – Alabama, California, Missouri, Massachusetts, Kanas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania – revised mandatory penalties for certain offenses,  including crack cocaine offenses and drug offense enhancements.
  • Death penalty - Connecticut abolished the death penalty, becoming the 17th state to do so.
  • Parole and probation reforms - Seven states – Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Missouri, and Pennsylvania -- expanded the use of earned time for eligible prisoners and limited the use of incarceration for probation and parole violations.
  • Juvenile life without parole - Three states – California, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania – authorized sentencing relief for certain individuals sentenced to juvenile life without parole.
Issue Area(s): Sentencing Policy, Incarceration, Racial Disparity, Felony Disenfranchisement