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The Sentencing Project News
April 20, 2015 (The Mark News)
Minimizing The Maximum: Why Prison Sentences Should Be Capped At 20 Years

A commentary in The Mark News by Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, makes the case for capping federal prison sentences at 20-years, barring exception circumstances.


April 17, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Connecticut Governor calls for "Second Chance Society"

Connecticut: Governor Leads Effort for "Second Chance Society"

Kentucky: Addressing Sentence Lengths for Persons with Prior Felony Convictions

Massachusetts: Advocates Support Felony Reclassification and Reinvesting Savings

Other News: Alabama, Maryland, Missouri, and more...


April 15, 2015
Race and Justice News: Chicago Police Stops Outpace New York's Stop and Frisk Peak

Policing: Chicago Police Stops Outpace New York's Stop and Frisk Peak

Philadelphia Police Continue Stop and Frisks Without Reasonable Suspicion

Prosecution and Sentencing: Cumulative Racial Disadvantage in the Criminal Justice System

Films: Documentary Depicts Efforts to Desegregate California Prison Cells

Books: The Political Roots of Racial Tracking in American Criminal Justice


April 15, 2015 (Salon)
America’s criminal justice disgrace: How Apple’s ban of former felons reveals the long road to real reform

The Sentencing Project's Director of Advocacy Nicole Porter recently spoke with Salon about employment for people with criminal records, criminal justice issues as civil rights issues, and what is necessary to take to tackle mass incarceration in the United States.


April 11, 2015 (Newsweek)
State Prison Populations Show Upswings, Declines

Since 1999, 34 states have seen “at least a modest decline” in their prison populations, but 16 have recorded upswings, according to new data released by The Sentencing Project that demonstrate incarceration rates vary dramatically between states.

New Jersey had the biggest drop in inmates since 1999, at 29 percent, while New York experienced a 27 percent decline and California's since 2006 was 22 percent. Overall, nine states posted double-digit drops.


April 10, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: MD legislature approves voting rights for people on probation & parole

Maryland: Legislature approves voting rights bill for people on probation and parole

Minnesota: Voting rights bill appears stalled

National: U.S. lawmakers introduce bill to restore voting rights after prison

International: Election newspaper distributed to Australian prisons and locked hospitals


April 8, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
New Analysis: U.S. Prison Population Trends

A new analysis by The Sentencing Project reveals broad variation in nationwide incarceration trends.

While the number of people in prison in the United States has stabilized in recent years, incarceration trends among the states have varied significantly. Two-thirds of states (34) have experienced at least a modest decline since 1999, while one-third (16) have had continued rises in their prison populations. 


March 31, 2015 (Los Angeles Times)
Obama commutes prison sentences of 22 drug offenders

In a single stroke, President Obama on Tuesday doubled the number of sentence commutations he has granted to federal prisoners since taking office, clearing the way for the release of 22 drug offenders.

The move was part of an administration effort to reduce disparities in drug sentencing and scale back mandatory minimum prison sentences.


March 21, 2015 (The New York Times)
Too Old to Commit Crime?

In testimony before the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Marc Mauer called for reforms to federal sentencing structures to create an upper limit of no more than 20 years in prison, barring exceptional circumstances. The New York Times states that "a compelling case" can be made for such a policy since "long sentences do little to prevent crime":


March 20, 2015 (Toledo Blade)
Time served: Prison sentencing policies should be driven by concerns for public safety, not rage and revenge

In an editorial, the Toledo Blade urges Congress and state legislatures to consider Marc Mauer's proposal to cap federal prison sentences, with some exceptions, at 20 years.