February 06, 2018
Letter in support of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act
As the Judiciary Committee prepares to consider the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act this month, The Sentencing Project writes to offer its endorsement of the bill’s passage.
February 05, 2018
Thousands are stuck in prison — just because of the date they were sentenced
Sometimes unfair laws punish people who deserve a second chance. We cannot allow the random day on which people are sentenced to prison be their primary obstacle to justice.
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.
January 22, 2018
Race & Justice News: Kansas Disregards Racial Profiling Complaints
Kansas law enforcement has not confirmed any of the 592 racial profiling complaints filed over the past five years, racial disparities decline in U.S. prisons, and more in Race and Justice News.
January 12, 2018
Jared Kushner's Prison Reform Plan Doesn't Promise Much
Jared Kushner hosted a listening session for President Donald Trump on prison reform. Unfortunately, his plans don’t inspire much optimism, nor do the actions of the administration thus far.
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.
December 15, 2017
Trump's opioid crisis failures mean states must lead the way
Here are 12 steps local actors can take now to solve the opioid crisis without waiting for Washington.
December 13, 2017
Opioids: Treating an Illness, Ending a War
The lessons from past drug crises and the evidence supporting a public health approach can guide policymakers as they seek an end to the current opioid crisis—without revamping the failed and costly War on Drugs.
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.
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.
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.
August 21, 2017
Race & Justice News: A Visual Double Standard in Media Coverage of Opioid and Crack Epidemics
Media coverage of the opioid epidemic—which largely affects suburban and rural whites—portrays it as an outside threat and focuses on treatment and recovery, while stories of heroin in the 1970s, crack-cocaine in the 1980s, and other drug problems that impact urban people of color today have focused on the drug user’s morality.
July 27, 2017
The Sentencing Project's Comments to U.S. Sentencing Commission on 2018 Policy Priorities
The Sentencing Project asks the Commission to take a fresh look at the guidelines structure to determine if sentence lengths are sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to achieve the goals of sentencing.