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Jared Kushner's Prison Reform Plan Doesn't Promise Much
January 12, 2018

Jared Kushner's Prison Reform Plan Doesn't Promise Much

Marc Mauer
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.
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Trump's opioid crisis failures mean states must lead the way
December 15, 2017

Trump's opioid crisis failures mean states must lead the way

Nazgol Ghandnoosh
Here are 12 steps local actors can take now to solve the opioid crisis without waiting for Washington.
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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.
publications
December 13, 2017

Opioids: Treating an Illness, Ending a War

Nazgol Ghandnoosh and Casey Anderson
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.
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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.
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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
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.
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Race & Justice News: A Visual Double Standard in Media Coverage of Opioid and Crack Epidemics
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.
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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.
publications
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.
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State Advocacy Update: Texas Set to Close 4 Prisons
June 29, 2017

State Advocacy Update: Texas Set to Close 4 Prisons

Recently, state lawmakers have taken steps to address high rates of incarceration. These policy reforms ranged from deciding to close state prisons, changing sentencing laws, and improving college access for persons with criminal convictions.
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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.
publications
June 28, 2017

Incarceration Rates in an International Perspective

A nation’s rate of incarceration is the number of people incarcerated as a proportion of its total population. Internationally, there is broad variation in the degree to which nations incarcerate their citizens, with a nearly 40-fold difference between the highest and lowest rates. The incarceration rate is often interpreted as a measurement of the degree of punitiveness in a society, although it is an imperfect measurement.
publications
June 26, 2017

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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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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