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The Sentencing Project Releases Its 2016 Annual Report
April 20, 2017

The Sentencing Project Releases Its 2016 Annual Report

Learn more about how our research and analysis in 2016 played a major role in shaping the policy debate around criminal justice reform.
publications
April 19, 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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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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Race & Justice News: Examining Racial Disparity in Exonerations
April 14, 2017

Race & Justice News: Examining Racial Disparity in Exonerations

Black people represent almost half of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes, lawsuit charges Milwaukee police with racially biased stop-and-frisks, and more in the latest Race and Justice News.

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Stiffening immigration enforcement is not the answer to reducing crime
April 10, 2017

Stiffening immigration enforcement is not the answer to reducing crime

Nazgol Ghandnoosh and Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute
Both The Sentencing Project and the Cato Institute published recent immigration and public safety reports that arrived at the same conclusion: Immigrants are less crime-prone than native-born citizens.
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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: Mid-Session Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform
March 31, 2017

State Advocacy Update: Mid-Session Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform

Over 40 state legislatures remain in session, with lawmakers and advocates advancing sentencing code reform, reductions in technical violations, assessments of racial disparity, and limits to collateral consequences for persons with criminal convictions.
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Race & Justice News: Bail Reform in New Jersey, Maryland, and Illinois
March 13, 2017

Race & Justice News: Bail Reform in New Jersey, Maryland, and Illinois

State reports reveal cash bail disproportionately impacts poor and minority defendants, Homeland Security expands federal immigration enforcement, and more in our latest Race and Justice News.
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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
March 07, 2017

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.
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Maryland should make parole a meaningful part of sentencing again
February 27, 2017

Maryland should make parole a meaningful part of sentencing again

Not a single person serving a life with parole sentence in Maryland was paroled between 1996 and 2014, says Nazgol Ghandnoosh in an op-ed for The Washington Post.
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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’.
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State Advocacy Update: Continuing the Effort to Advance Criminal Justice Reform
February 13, 2017

State Advocacy Update: Continuing the Effort to Advance Criminal Justice Reform

In Texas, more than 100 immigrants, formerly incarcerated individuals, and activists coalesce in a show of solidarity to advance reform efforts.  
publications
February 09, 2017

Reviving Parole for Life Sentences

This webinar discussed state and federal practices and policies that contribute to the country’s growing lifer population, and highlighted state efforts to increase parole for people serving life sentences.
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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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