June 12, 2020
State Advocacy News: From Protest to Policy
Following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others the nation is demanding justice through direct actions and mass mobilizations. Strategic solutions include a range of recommendations that address racial disparities, reduced law enforcement interactions, and sentencing reforms.
June 02, 2020
Letter on Examining Best Practices for Incarceration and Detention During COVID-19
The Sentencing Project wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine the impact of COVID-19 on incarcerated populations and how best to prevent the spread of infection and save lives.
May 19, 2020
U.S. Prison Decline: Insufficient to Undo Mass Incarceration
Although 44 states and the federal system have reduced their prison populations since reaching peak levels, the pace of reform has been slow to reverse nearly four decades of aggressive imprisonment growth that now exacerbates health risks during a pandemic.
April 20, 2020
Ending prison crowding can limit coronavirus infections
By releasing people to end overcrowding in prisons and jails, and by providing basic cleaning and protective equipment, officials can make vital inroads to saving lives.
April 09, 2020
Coronavirus Deaths Will Overwhelm California Prisons Without Swift Action
Correctional health experts have made clear that flattening the curve also requires significantly depopulating prisons, jails, and detention centers.
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’.
April 06, 2020
State Advocacy News: Reform Responses to COVID-19
COVID-19 has led state advocates to demand prison and jail systems decarcerate to stem outbreaks in facilities often challenged by poor conditions and overcrowding. Decarceration practices or calls for reform have been documented in at least 31 states and the District of Columbia to reduce health risks for incarcerated persons vulnerable to COVID-19.
March 24, 2020
Bipartisan Coalition Calls on President Trump to Commute Federal Prison Sentences for Populations Most Vulnerable to COVID-19
Justice reform leaders sent a letter to President Trump urging him to utilize his clemency power to extend compassionate release in federal prisons to elderly people and those with serious health conditions who are exceptionally vulnerable to coronavirus.
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 18, 2020
The Sentencing Project Releases its 2019 Annual Report
Learn more about how our research and analysis in 2019 played a major role in shaping campaign priorities around criminal justice reform and highlighting the impact of excessive sentencing.
March 06, 2020
State Advocacy Newsletter: Unlocking the Vote 2020
The 2020 election season offers an opportunity to increase public awareness about felony disenfranchisement laws to expand voter eligibility. During the era of mass incarceration the overall disenfranchisement rate increased substantially. In recent years, substantial reforms have expanded the vote to millions of individuals.
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.