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Still increase in racial disparities in juvenile justice
October 20, 2017

Still increase in racial disparities in juvenile justice

We should celebrate the declines in incarceration among youth of all races and ethnicities. But let’s not overlook the way these changes aren’t benefiting all our children in the same way.
publications
October 13, 2017

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.
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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
October 11, 2017

Public Comment on USSC’s “First Offenders/ Alternatives to Incarceration” Proposed Amendment

The Sentencing Project, Human Rights Watch, Gamaliel and the ACLU applaud the Sentencing Commission’s consideration of an amendment to increase the availability of sentences of alternatives to incarceration within the federal sentencing guidelines.
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Race & Justice News: One-Third of Black Men Have Felony Convictions
October 10, 2017

Race & Justice News: One-Third of Black Men Have Felony Convictions

The number of black men with felony convictions has significantly increased over the past 30 years, American Indian and Alaska Native jail counts have doubled since the late 1990s, and more in Race and Justice News.
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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.
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State Advocacy Update: Getting Ready for 2018
September 29, 2017

State Advocacy Update: Getting Ready for 2018

As 2018 approaches, advocates are readying efforts on sentencing reform and challenges to racial disparity in the criminal justice system.
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South Carolina Legislature must reform life-without-parole sentences
September 21, 2017

South Carolina Legislature must reform life-without-parole sentences

Ashley Nellis
South Carolina has started down the road to criminal justice reform — a beginning, but it is a long road. A legislative package designed to accelerate the state’s progress ought to include consideration of reforms to long-term sentences.
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Theresa McIntyre Smith

In 1999, Theresa Smith was arrested at an airport after she met a drug courier in Roy Mercer’s network and according to the government, identified a suitcase containing eleven kilograms of cocaine for the courier. Smith said she had been told by Mercer that the suitcase contained his nieces’ clothes. For this first-time non-violent offense, Smith was sentenced to a ten-year mandatory prison term.
publications
August 28, 2017

Private Prisons in the United States

U.S. private prisons incarcerated 126,272 people in 2015, representing 8% of the total state and federal prison population.
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Race & Justice News: A Visual Double Standard in Media Coverage of Opioid and Crack Epidemics
August 21, 2017

Race & Justice News: A Visual Double Standard in Media Coverage of Opioid and Crack Epidemics

Media coverage of the opioid epidemic—which largely affects suburban and rural whites—portrays it as an outside threat and focuses on treatment and recovery, while stories of heroin in the 1970s, crack-cocaine in the 1980s, and other drug problems that impact urban people of color today have focused on the drug user’s morality.
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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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Life Sentences, Long Sentences Imposed on Youth Need 2nd Look
August 04, 2017

Life Sentences, Long Sentences Imposed on Youth Need 2nd Look

As young people age and mature they develop the capacity to make different choices, writes Ashley Nellis in the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.
publications
July 27, 2017

The Sentencing Project's Comments to U.S. Sentencing Commission on 2018 Policy Priorities

The Sentencing Project asks the Commission to take a fresh look at the guidelines structure to determine if sentence lengths are sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to achieve the goals of sentencing.
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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.
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