Skip to main content

Issues

Incarceration

news
Taking a second look at life imprisonment
November 07, 2019

Taking a second look at life imprisonment

In most Western European nations, sentences of more than 20 years are rare either by statute or in practice. The United States, with just 4 percent of the world’s population, houses more than half of the world’s population of people serving life without parole.
news
Race & Justice News: Police Departments Reduce Low-Level Arrests
November 04, 2019

Race & Justice News: Police Departments Reduce Low-Level Arrests

Report finds Los Angeles courts’ mandatory community service is “fundamentally coercive,” Philadelphia's African Americans are disproportionately stuck in probation trap, and more in Race & Justice News.
Featured Story
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.
news
State Advocacy Update: Inside-Outside Organizing in Ending Life Imprisonment
October 31, 2019

State Advocacy Update: Inside-Outside Organizing in Ending Life Imprisonment

Raising awareness about the realities of lifelong prison terms has surfaced new activism in dismantling mass incarceration. This awareness can build on years of advocacy that aligns the lived experiences of those sentenced to life prison terms to activists on the outside.
publications
October 24, 2019

Private Prisons in the United States

U.S. private prisons incarcerated 121,718 people in 2017, representing 8.2% of the total state and federal prison population.  
Featured Story
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’.
news
Disenfranchisement News: Judge Temporarily Blocks Florida Law Limiting Voting Rights
October 21, 2019

Disenfranchisement News: Judge Temporarily Blocks Florida Law Limiting Voting Rights

Federal judge issued preliminary injunction blocking Florida law, Iowa Governor continues to push to expand voting rights, and more in Disenfranchisement News.
publications
October 08, 2019

Youth Sentenced to Life Imprisonment

Despite evidence that adolescent brain development should mitigate the culpability of youth, all states allow juveniles to be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Featured Story
Featured Story

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.
news
State Advocacy Update: Research Resources to Challenge Mass Incarceration
September 30, 2019

State Advocacy Update: Research Resources to Challenge Mass Incarceration

Research is a starting point for many activists challenging mass incarceration, including tracking state imprisonment levels and other trends. Dismantling punitive policies that contribute to high prison populations requires a collaborative approach to shift hearts and minds through advocacy, research, and other strategies.
news
Race & Justice News: Racial Impact of Florida’s Criminal Laws
September 27, 2019

Race & Justice News: Racial Impact of Florida’s Criminal Laws

State supreme courts less reflective of nation’s diversity, Florida lawmakers partner with researchers to assess racial impact of legislation, increase in Virginia's marijuana arrests sparks calls for change, and more in Race & Justice News.
Featured Story
Featured Story

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
A Second Look at Long Sentences Is the Bold Approach We Need on Criminal Justice Reform
September 26, 2019

A Second Look at Long Sentences Is the Bold Approach We Need on Criminal Justice Reform

Kara Gotsch
For the bipartisan lawmakers in Washington, and the 2020 presidential candidates who have pledged to address the problems in the criminal justice system, a broader approach to challenge mass incarceration and promote public safety is long overdue.
publications
September 17, 2019

U.S. Prison Population Trends: Massive Buildup and Modest Decline

While most states have downsized their prison populations in recent years, the pace of decarceration is insufficient to undo nearly four decades of unrelenting growth.
Featured Story
Featured Story
December 01, 2017

James Inge

James D. Inge is one of 300 individuals age 60 or older arrested between 1965 and 1980 that was sentenced to life imprisonment in Pennsylvania. Learn more about his campaign to give rehabilitated seniors serving life a second chance.
Load More