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Race & Justice News: Racial Disparities in Police Use of Force Exceed Disparities in Arrests
July 18, 2016

Race & Justice News: Racial Disparities in Police Use of Force Exceed Disparities in Arrests

Study finds that racial disparities in police use of force cannot be fully explained by racial disparities in arrest rates, thousands of Justice Department employees to receive implicit bias training, and more in our latest Race and Justice News.
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Cop-Protection Bill Could Send Thousands to Federal Prison
July 13, 2016

Cop-Protection Bill Could Send Thousands to Federal Prison

A bill introduced in response to the fatal shooting of five policemen in Dallas would impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for attacks on law enforcement.
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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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One Robber’s 3 Life Sentences: ’90s Legacy Fills Prisons Today
July 04, 2016

One Robber’s 3 Life Sentences: ’90s Legacy Fills Prisons Today

People convicted of non-violent drug offenses make up only about 17 percent of state prison populations across the country, while people incarcerated for violent offenses make up more than 50 percent.

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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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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.
publications
June 21, 2016

Open Letter to President Barack Obama on Clemency

Unless President Obama personally intervenes to break a bureaucratic logjam, his clemency initiative will fall far short of granting the number of commutations for which people in prison are eligible. An open letter to the President from a broad coalition of criminal justice reform advocates, former judges and prosecutors, and legal scholars urges him to act.
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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.
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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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Disenfranchisement News: Virginia GOP files suit to block 200K people from voting
June 16, 2016

Disenfranchisement News: Virginia GOP files suit to block 200K people from voting

Virginia GOP says the governor's executive order to restore voting rights to 200K people is unconstitutional, D.C. makes voting easier in jail, and more in Disenfranchisement News.
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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
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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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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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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