June 28, 2017
Incarceration Rates in an International Perspective
A nation’s rate of incarceration is the number of people incarcerated as a proportion of its total population. Internationally, there is broad variation in the degree to which nations incarcerate their citizens, with a nearly 40-fold difference between the highest and lowest rates. The incarceration rate is often interpreted as a measurement of the degree of punitiveness in a society, although it is an imperfect measurement.
June 26, 2017
Trends in U.S. Corrections
The Sentencing Project's key fact sheet provides a compilation of major developments in the criminal justice system over the past several decades.
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.
June 23, 2017
Jeff Sessions wants a new war on drugs. It won’t work.
In The Washington Post, David Cole of the ACLU and Marc Mauer explain why Sessions' revival of the drug war will devastate families without reducing crime or solving the drug crisis.
June 19, 2017
Sessions is taking us back to the future
Sessions' new "tough on crime" directive will inevitably contribute to a rise in the federal prison population and will be counterproductive to promoting public safety, write Marc Mauer and Kara Gotsch in an op-ed for the San Francisco Daily Journal.
May 16, 2017
WATCH: Attorney General calls for toughest charges for people in custody
Marc Mauer responds to AG Sessions' decision to end the DOJ's Smart on Crime initiative on CBS News.
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.
May 15, 2017
Jeff Sessions decision to re-up in the drug war won't work
Kara Gotsch and Marc Mauer explain why the Attorney General's newly issued sentencing directive to federal prosecutors is a devastating revival of the War on Drugs.
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’.