Skip to main content

Issues

Incarceration

news
The Sentencing Project Launches Campaign to End Life Imprisonment
November 09, 2018

The Sentencing Project Launches Campaign to End Life Imprisonment

Join The Sentencing Project & Public Welfare Foundation on December 4 for the Campaign to End Life Imprisonment launch event, featuring the release of The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences and Brave New Films’ examination of the impact of life sentences.
news
State Criminal Justice Reform and the 2018 Midterms
November 07, 2018

State Criminal Justice Reform and the 2018 Midterms

Voters across the nation considered a number of criminal justice reform measures—ranging from voting rights to sentencing reform.
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.
publications
November 05, 2018

Long-Term Sentences: Time to Reconsider the Scale of Punishment

Unduly long prison terms are counterproductive for public safety and contribute to the dynamic of diminishing returns as the prison system has expanded.
news
State Advocacy News: Retroactivity and Criminal Justice Reform
November 05, 2018

State Advocacy News: Retroactivity and Criminal Justice Reform

Voters decide on ballot proposals for retroactive sentencing and the restoration of voting rights to people with felony convictions.
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.
publications
October 22, 2018

Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview

Josh Rovner
The United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed before turning 18. This briefing paper reviews the Supreme Court precedents that limited the use of JLWOP and the challenges that remain.
news
State Advocacy News: Criminal Justice Reform on the Ballot
September 29, 2018

State Advocacy News: Criminal Justice Reform on the Ballot

Proposed ballot measures this November include an expansion of voting rights for persons with felony convictions, sentencing reform, and addressing police use of force standards.
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.
news
Race & Justice News: DC Girls of Color Increasingly Arrested
September 26, 2018

Race & Justice News: DC Girls of Color Increasingly Arrested

Although arrests of boys in Washington, DC have declined in the last decade, arrests of girls have increased.
publications
September 05, 2018

Decarceration Strategies: How 5 States Achieved Substantial Prison Population Reductions

Dennis Schrantz, Stephen DeBor, and Marc Mauer
Connecticut, Michigan, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and South Carolina have reduced their prison populations between 14-25% over the past decade. This report describes how these five states can serve as decarceration roadmaps for other states.
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
August 27, 2018

Public Comment on Commission’s Proposed Priorities for 2018-2019 Amendment Cycle

A coalition of civil rights, criminal justice reform, and human rights groups provided comments to the U.S. Sentencing Commission on ways to improve the fairness and proportionality of the Guidelines; promote individualized review of specific offense conduct; and mitigate excessively punitive provisions.
news
Race & Justice News: Homicide Clearance Disparities Contribute to Capital Punishment Disparities
August 07, 2018

Race & Justice News: Homicide Clearance Disparities Contribute to Capital Punishment Disparities

Homicides involving white victims are significantly more likely to be "cleared" by the arrest of a suspect than homicides involving victims of color, causing racial disparities in capital sentencing to begin as early as police investigations. Learn 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.
Load More