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Drug Policy

publications
March 07, 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.
news
State Advocacy Update: Continuing the Effort to Advance Criminal Justice Reform
February 13, 2017

State Advocacy Update: Continuing the Effort to Advance Criminal Justice Reform

In Texas, more than 100 immigrants, formerly incarcerated individuals, and activists coalesce in a show of solidarity to advance reform efforts.  
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Featured Story

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.
news
Will Trump Crush the Modest Progress in Fighting Mass Incarceration?
February 07, 2017

Will Trump Crush the Modest Progress in Fighting Mass Incarceration?

Now what? Alternet interview with The Sentencing Project's Marc Mauer.
news
The Obama Legacy: Chipping Away at Mass Incarceration
December 21, 2016

The Obama Legacy: Chipping Away at Mass Incarceration

Marc Mauer assesses the accomplishments of the Obama Administration and provides thoughts on criminal justice reform for the coming years.
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Featured Story

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.
publications
November 29, 2016

Citing Uncertainty of Next Administration’s Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform, Broad Coalition Calls On Obama to Expand Clemency Eligibility

A broad coalition of criminal justice reform advocates, former judges and prosecutors, and legal scholars urge President Obama to expand the number of people eligible for clemency by considering commutations for broad categories of non-violent offenses.
news
Law and order agenda should take note of bipartisanship’s results
November 29, 2016

Law and order agenda should take note of bipartisanship’s results

Kara Gotsch
Trump ran his campaign on “law and order,” but the incoming president and attorney general would be wise to build on successful, bipartisan criminal justice reform initiatives in the months and years ahead.
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Featured Story

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.
news
Mass Incarceration in Middle America
September 16, 2016

Mass Incarceration in Middle America

Criminal justice reform is reducing prison populations in big America cities. But in some suburbs and rural communities, prison populations are actually growing.
news
Watch: A 30-Year March Toward Justice
September 13, 2016

Watch: A 30-Year March Toward Justice

Watch our 30th anniversary video celebrating The Sentencing Project's work over the last 30 years and looking ahead to the future of criminal justice reform
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Featured Story

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.
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Can Marijuana Reform End Mass Incarceration?
August 12, 2016

Can Marijuana Reform End Mass Incarceration?

While current marijuana enforcement is counterproductive in many respects, there is little evidence to indicate that it has been a substantial contributor to mass incarceration. Of the 1.5 million people in state or federal prisons, only about 40,000 are incarcerated for a marijuana offense.
news
Obama Clemency Moves Needle on Prison Reform, but More Needed
August 04, 2016

Obama Clemency Moves Needle on Prison Reform, but More Needed

President Obama's clemency grants are an important step in addressing mass incarceration. Now it's time for Congress to act.
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Featured Story

Christopher Poulos

When Chris Poulos was arrested, he experienced firsthand the difference that money can make in the criminal justice system. He recounts the experience in his own words.
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