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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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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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’.
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Fix the Racial Disparities in Oregon’s Prisons
July 10, 2016

Fix the Racial Disparities in Oregon’s Prisons

In Oregon in 2014, 1 in 21 of all African American adult males was in prison. The Sentencing Project's Senior Research Analyst Ashley Nellis and Bobbin Singh, Executive Director of the Oregon Justice Resource Center, urge Oregon policymakers to take action to address the racial disparities in the state criminal justice system.
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New Jersey Is a Leader on Criminal Justice Reform. So Why This Racial Disparity?
June 26, 2016

New Jersey Is a Leader on Criminal Justice Reform. So Why This Racial Disparity?

New Jersey has led the nation in reducing its state prison population, achieving a 31% reduction since 1999, with no adverse effect on public safety. However, racial disparities in New Jersey prisons are the highest in the nation.
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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.
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Black Americans Incarcerated Five Times More Than White People
June 18, 2016

Black Americans Incarcerated Five Times More Than White People

Black Americans were incarcerated in state prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans in 2014. In some states that rate was 10 times or more, reports The Guardian.
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June 14, 2016

The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons

African Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at more than five times the rate of whites, and at least ten times the rate in five states. This report documents the rates of incarceration for whites, African Americans, and Hispanics in each state, identifies three contributors to racial and ethnic disparities in imprisonment, and provides recommendations for reform.
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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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Race & Justice News: Racial Disparities in Sex Offender Registration
June 13, 2016

Race & Justice News: Racial Disparities in Sex Offender Registration

New study finds that sex offender registration across the country disproportionately affects black men, Department of Education urges university admissions to move "beyond the box," and more in Race and Justice News.
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State Advocacy Update: Strategies for Grassroots Advocacy and Coalition Building
June 07, 2016

State Advocacy Update: Strategies for Grassroots Advocacy and Coalition Building

Many advocates will take the summer to revisit their strategies and identify tactics to ramp up efforts for next session.
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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.
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