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Drug Policy

publications
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.
publications
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.
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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.
publications
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.
news
NBC Nightly News: Kim Kardashian visits White House to talk prison and sentencing reform
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.
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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.
publications
May 21, 2018

The Sentencing Project responds to First Step Act Legislation

Without provisions in the FIRST STEP Act to reduce the excessive sentencing produced by mandatory minimums for drug offenses, overcrowding will persist and thereby divert resources from programs to reduce recidivism.
news
State Advocacy News: Grassroots Actions to Challenge Mass Incarceration
May 01, 2018

State Advocacy News: Grassroots Actions to Challenge Mass Incarceration

Coalitions in Maryland, Mississippi, and Kentucky mobilized to counter regressive sentencing measures by promoting solutions addressing underlying causes of crime.
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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.
news
Jeff Sessions is shamefully undermining WEB Du Bois's legacy
April 30, 2018

Jeff Sessions is shamefully undermining WEB Du Bois's legacy

Marc Mauer
A justice department program of research fellowships in the civil rights leader’s name has been twisted to suit the attorney general’s agenda
news
Trump’s commitment to a renewed War on Drugs
April 20, 2018

Trump’s commitment to a renewed War on Drugs

Officials should not see this public health crisis as an invitation to exacerbate mass incarceration.
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Featured Story

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’.
publications
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.
news
Race & Justice News: Jackson, MS to Stop Releasing Mug Shots of People Shot by Police
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.
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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.
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