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Mass Incarceration in Middle America
September 16, 2016

Mass Incarceration in Middle America

Criminal justice reform is reducing prison populations in big America cities. But in some suburbs and rural communities, prison populations are actually growing.
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Watch: A 30-Year March Toward Justice
September 13, 2016

Watch: A 30-Year March Toward Justice

Watch our 30th anniversary video celebrating The Sentencing Project's work over the last 30 years and looking ahead to the future of criminal justice reform
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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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Can Marijuana Reform End Mass Incarceration?
August 12, 2016

Can Marijuana Reform End Mass Incarceration?

While current marijuana enforcement is counterproductive in many respects, there is little evidence to indicate that it has been a substantial contributor to mass incarceration. Of the 1.5 million people in state or federal prisons, only about 40,000 are incarcerated for a marijuana offense.
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Obama Clemency Moves Needle on Prison Reform, but More Needed
August 04, 2016

Obama Clemency Moves Needle on Prison Reform, but More Needed

President Obama's clemency grants are an important step in addressing mass incarceration. Now it's time for Congress to act.
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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.
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Race & Justice News: Racial Disparities in Police Use of Force Exceed Disparities in Arrests
July 18, 2016

Race & Justice News: Racial Disparities in Police Use of Force Exceed Disparities in Arrests

Study finds that racial disparities in police use of force cannot be fully explained by racial disparities in arrest rates, thousands of Justice Department employees to receive implicit bias training, and more in our latest Race and Justice News.
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Cop-Protection Bill Could Send Thousands to Federal Prison
July 13, 2016

Cop-Protection Bill Could Send Thousands to Federal Prison

A bill introduced in response to the fatal shooting of five policemen in Dallas would impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for attacks on law enforcement.
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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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Fix the Racial Disparities in Oregon’s Prisons
July 10, 2016

Fix the Racial Disparities in Oregon’s Prisons

In Oregon in 2014, 1 in 21 of all African American adult males was in prison. The Sentencing Project's Senior Research Analyst Ashley Nellis and Bobbin Singh, Executive Director of the Oregon Justice Resource Center, urge Oregon policymakers to take action to address the racial disparities in the state criminal justice system.
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One Robber’s 3 Life Sentences: ’90s Legacy Fills Prisons Today
July 04, 2016

One Robber’s 3 Life Sentences: ’90s Legacy Fills Prisons Today

People convicted of non-violent drug offenses make up only about 17 percent of state prison populations across the country, while people incarcerated for violent offenses make up more than 50 percent.

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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.
publications
July 01, 2016

Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview

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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New Jersey Is a Leader on Criminal Justice Reform. So Why This Racial Disparity?
June 26, 2016

New Jersey Is a Leader on Criminal Justice Reform. So Why This Racial Disparity?

New Jersey has led the nation in reducing its state prison population, achieving a 31% reduction since 1999, with no adverse effect on public safety. However, racial disparities in New Jersey prisons are the highest in the nation.
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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.
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