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State Advocacy News: Justice Reform Starts With You!
November 16, 2017

State Advocacy News: Justice Reform Starts With You!

Contact us to discuss your 2018 advocacy plan for state criminal justice reform!
publications
November 08, 2017

The Sentencing Project's 2017 Annual Newsletter

Despite this changing political environment we have made strides in advancing justice and helping to shape a reform agenda for both policymakers and the advocacy community in 2017.
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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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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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Featured Story

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
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

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: 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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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.
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

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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