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Jeff Sessions decision to re-up in the drug war won't work
May 15, 2017

Jeff Sessions decision to re-up in the drug war won't work

Kara Gotsch and Marc Mauer explain why the Attorney General's newly issued sentencing directive to federal prosecutors is a devastating revival of the War on Drugs.
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Federal Prison Population will Expand under new DOJ Directive
May 12, 2017

Federal Prison Population will Expand under new DOJ Directive

The Sentencing Project condemns DOJ’s return to harsh enforcement of low-level drug crimes
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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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Life Without Redemption
May 09, 2017

Life Without Redemption

Ashley Nellis and Marc Mauer
When 1 in 7 Americans in prison is serving a life term, it's time to rethink our failed crime policies.
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Number of people serving life in US prisons is surging, new report says
May 08, 2017

Number of people serving life in US prisons is surging, new report says

A person in prison who starts his or her sentence in their 30s will, on average, cost the state $1 million per year.
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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’.
publications
May 05, 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.
publications
May 03, 2017

Still Life: America’s Increasing Use of Life and Long-Term Sentences

Amid historically low crime rates, a record 206,268 people are serving life or virtual life sentences—one of every seven people in prison.
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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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State Advocacy Update: Efforts to Address Federal Drug Felony Ban on Public Benefits
May 01, 2017

State Advocacy Update: Efforts to Address Federal Drug Felony Ban on Public Benefits

In 2017, proposals to opt out or modify the lifetime felony drug ban on public benefits were introduced in at least three states.
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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.
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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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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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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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