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Incarceration

publications
September 22, 2021

In the Extreme: Women Serving Life Without Parole and Death Sentences in the United States

One of every 15 women in prison — amounting to more than 6,600 women — is serving a life sentence and nearly 2,000 of these have no chance for parole. Another 52 women in the U.S. are awaiting execution. Many women serving extreme sentences were victims of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse long before they committed a crime.
publications
August 31, 2021

Back-to-School Action Guide: Re-Engaging Students and Closing the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Thanks to a $122 billion infusion of federal funds, schools and communities can invest vast resources in effective new approaches that offer us the power to keep children in school and help them progress along the path to educational success.
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.
publications
August 20, 2021

Conversation About Crime Survivors and Justice Reforms

The Sentencing Project and national victim/survivor advocate Anne Seymour, with support from Open Philanthropy, sponsored a virtual conversation to identify strategies that can more wholly identify and address the needs of survivors, those who harm them, and the communities in which they reside.
news
July 27, 2021

Race & Justice News: Eliminating Crack / Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

House Vote on Eliminating Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine, a study commissioned by Denver District Attorney finds disparate prosecutorial outcomes, and more in Race & Justice News.
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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.
publications
July 20, 2021

Letter Supporting the Passage of the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act

In a letter of support submitted to the House Judiciary Committee, The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Amy Fettig expressed the importance of passing the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act.
publications
July 15, 2021

Black Disparities in Youth Incarceration

Josh Rovner
Despite long-term declines in youth incarceration, the disparity at which black and white youth are held in juvenile facilities has grown. Black youth are more than four times as likely to be detained or committed in juvenile facilities as their white peers.    
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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.
publications
July 15, 2021

Disparities in Tribal Youth Incarceration

Josh Rovner

Disparities in tribal youth incarceration have grown worse over the course of the decade, with tribal youth being more than three times as likely to be incarcerated than their white peers.

publications
July 15, 2021

Latinx Disparities in Youth Incarceration

Josh Rovner
Latinx youth are 28 percent more likely to be incarcerated than their white peers, a sharp improvement over the course of the decade.
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’.
publications
July 15, 2021

Statement on U.S. Department of Justice Stakeholder Listening Session on First Step Act Implementation

The Sentencing Project submitted written comments for a U.S. Department of Justice Stakeholder Listening Session on First Step Act Implementation.
publications
June 30, 2021

A New Lease on Life

Comprehensive analysis on recidivism documents widespread research evidence that people convicted of homicide and other crimes of violence rarely commit new crimes of violence after release from long-term imprisonment.
Featured Story
Featured Story

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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