January 12, 2018
Jared Kushner's Prison Reform Plan Doesn't Promise Much
Jared Kushner hosted a listening session for President Donald Trump on prison reform. Unfortunately, his plans don’t inspire much optimism, nor do the actions of the administration thus far.
January 10, 2018
Oklahoma’s Life-Sentenced Population Rising Faster than National Trends
Oklahoma has increased its life-sentenced population steadily over the past 20 years to the point where one in eight prisoners is now serving life.
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.
December 20, 2017
State Advocacy News: Tools to Reform Life Sentences
State advocates are initiating hard conversations to challenge extreme sentences.
December 13, 2017
Opioids: Treating an Illness, Ending a War
The lessons from past drug crises and the evidence supporting a public health approach can guide policymakers as they seek an end to the current opioid crisis—without revamping the failed and costly War on Drugs.
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.
November 30, 2017
Race & Justice News: Equity in the Burgeoning Marijuana Industry
LA City Council considers “social equity” program to help marginalized groups participate in the cannabis business, black immigrants face disproportionate deportation risk, and more in Race and Justice News.
November 16, 2017
State Advocacy News: Justice Reform Starts With You!
Contact us to discuss your 2018 advocacy plan for state criminal justice reform!
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’.
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.
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.
October 13, 2017
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.
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.