January 15, 2021
Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2020
In recent years most states have enacted reforms designed to reduce the scale of incarceration and the impact of the collateral consequences of a felony conviction. This briefing paper describes key reforms that were prioritized in 2020.
November 24, 2020
Incarcerated Women and Girls
Over the past quarter century, there has been a profound change in the involvement of women within the criminal justice system. This is the result of more expansive law enforcement efforts, stiffer drug sentencing laws, and post-conviction barriers to reentry that uniquely affect women.
November 18, 2020
Race & Justice News: Whose Lives Matter?
Oregon ballot measure tackles racial disparities in drug possession enforcement, San Francisco will respond to behavioral crisis calls without police, Black Kansas City residents cite distrust of police as contributor to gun violence, and more in Race & Justice News.
October 30, 2020
Locked Out 2020: Estimates of People Denied Voting Rights Due to a Felony Conviction
5.2 million Americans are forbidden to vote because of felony disenfranchisement, or laws restricting voting rights for those convicted of felony-level crimes.
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.
September 30, 2020
Youth Justice Under the Coronavirus: Linking Public Health Protections with the Movement for Youth Decarceration
Despite almost two decades of declines in U.S. youth incarceration, The Sentencing Project reveals more than 1,800 incarcerated youth have tested positive for COVID-19 since March, including more than 300 cases in Florida and Texas.
September 28, 2020
Race & Justice News: Disarming Traffic Enforcement
Sentencing disparities examined in Massachusetts and Washtenaw County, Michigan, federal prosecutors targeted black communities while handling DC gun charges, Berkley to disarms traffic enforcement, and more in Race & Justice News.
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’.
August 26, 2020
State Advocacy Update: From Defund the Police to Defund Prisons
The Sentencing Project hosted an online discussion highlighting efforts in California and Colorado to decarcerate and prioritize funding towards crime prevention and community.
August 25, 2020
Trends in U.S. Corrections
The Sentencing Project's key fact sheet provides a compilation of major developments in the criminal justice system over the past several decades.
August 17, 2020
Disenfranchisement News: Iowa Gov. Ends Lifetime Ban on Voting for People with Felony Convictions
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed an executive order restoring the right to vote for people with felony convictions. Iowa was the only state that still permanently disenfranchised those with felony convictions unless the governor intervened.
August 07, 2020
Amicus Brief in Support of North Carolina Felony Disenfranchisement Lawsuit
North Carolina felony disenfranchisement law amplifies the hardship that the criminal justice system disproportionately visits upon Black Americans; exacerbates stark racial disparities in income, wealth, and economic opportunity; and unduly mutes the voices of Black North Carolinians in public affairs.