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.
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.
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.
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.
September 30, 2019
Racial Impact Statements
Racial impact statements are a tool for lawmakers to evaluate potential disparities of proposed legislation prior to adoption and implementation. Analogous to fiscal impact statements, they assist legislators in detecting unforeseen policy ramifications.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
August 29, 2019
Virtual Life Sentences
Over 44,000 people around the country are serving a sentence of 50 years or more. This fact sheet provides a summary of this long-overlooked population of individuals serving such sentences.
July 29, 2019
State Advocacy News: Working with Crime Survivors to Challenge Life Imprisonment
State coalitions challenging life imprisonment include a range of voices like persons formerly serving life prison terms, faith leaders, and restorative justice practitioners. Crime survivors are also key allies in scaling back life imprisonment. Victim led advocacy represents a range of perspectives.
July 24, 2019
Race & Justice News: “To Protect and Slur?” Law Enforcement & Social Media
Black homicide victims' families less likely to receive victim compensation, increased racial disparity in Missouri traffic stops, San Francisco and Connecticut tackle racial disparities in prosecutions, and more in Race & Justice News.