April 10, 2018
Letter to Subcommittee Hearing on Defeating Fentanyl: Addressing the Deadliest Drugs Fueling the Opioid Crisis
The Sentencing Project outlines lessons learned from the War on Drugs and recommends that federal resources be directed towards policies that will expand access to drug treatment to stop the skyrocketing death toll from overdoses caused by fentanyl and other opioids.
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.
March 30, 2018
Race & Justice News: Jackson, MS to Stop Releasing Mug Shots of People Shot by Police
"The last image of any person should not be on the worst day of their life," said Jackson Mayor. Learn more in Race & Justice News.
March 29, 2018
The Sentencing Project Releases its 2017 Annual Report
Learn more about how our research and analysis in 2017 played a major role in shaping the policy debate around criminal justice reform.
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.
March 28, 2018
Punitive responses to gang violence are not effective
Residents of the communities that experience gang crime want it to stop, and there are better ways to make that happen than sending more people to prison for ever longer sentences.
March 27, 2018
National coalition rejects death penalty and increased penalties for drug offenses
Sixty-two faith, civil rights, treatment and legal organizations condemn accelerating the use of the death penalty and urge the Trump Administration to support proven public health strategies to end the opioid crisis, reduce problematic drug use and save lives.
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’.
February 28, 2018
Race & Justice News: As Cities Become Safer, Racial Disparities Decrease
Report finds that as the rate of violent crime decreased in U.S. cities, other societal conditions have improved; Seattle, San Francisco, and San Diego apply marijuana reforms retroactively; and more in Race & Justice News.
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.
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.