November 28, 2018
The Sentencing Project Calls on Congress to Pass First Step Act
In a letter sent to Senate and House leadership, The Sentencing Project urged Congress to move quickly to pass the sentencing reform measures in the First Step Act (S.3649) "to help create a safer, more equitable and fairer justice system."
November 07, 2018
State Criminal Justice Reform and the 2018 Midterms
Voters across the nation considered a number of criminal justice reform measures—ranging from voting rights to sentencing reform.
November 05, 2018
State Advocacy News: Retroactivity and Criminal Justice Reform
Voters decide on ballot proposals for retroactive sentencing and the restoration of voting rights to people with felony convictions.
October 30, 2018
Race & Justice News: Blacks Disproportionately Arrested for Marijuana in Alabama
Blacks in Alabama were four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession in 2016 as whites, L.A. County deputies disproportionately stop Latinos to find drugs, and more in Race & Justice News.
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.
July 31, 2018
State Advocacy News: Transforming Closed Adult and Youth Prisons
Lessons for stakeholders include prioritizing prison population reduction efforts and planning for prison repurposing.
June 25, 2018
Letter to Senate on Advancing Sentencing Reform legislation
The Sentencing Project urges the Senate to move quickly to pass sentencing reform legislation, like the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 1917) sponsored by Senators Charles Grassley and Richard Durbin, to help create a safer, more equitable and fairer prison system.
June 22, 2018
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.
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.
June 15, 2018
Letter Against Synthetic Drug Bill that Expands Penalties for Federal Drug Offenses
As part of a larger coalition, The Sentencing Project opposes the Stop Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act of 2017 which would disproportionately incarcerate those with low-level federal drug offenses, concentrate power solely within the Department of Justice and criminalize people with substance use disorder who need treatment, not punishment.
June 04, 2018
NBC Nightly News: Kim Kardashian visits White House to talk prison and sentencing reform
Marc Mauer explains why sentencing reform is necessary to provide relief to the thousands of people in federal prison serving life without parole for non-violent drug offenses.
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’.