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The Sentencing Project News
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.


March 19, 2015 (The Hill)
Bipartisan moment for drug sentencing reform

"A generation ago, if you asked a Republican and a Democrat to debate criminal justice policy, they would have argued about which party was toughest on crime," writes The Sentencing Project's Federal Advocacy Counsel Jeremy Haile in The Hill. "Now, they’re arguing the other way: who can be smart."


March 16, 2015
Race and Justice News: Girls in the School-to-Prison Pipeline

School-to-Prison Pipeline: Compendium of Suspension Trends for Grades K-12

Girls in the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Reforms: School Discipline Reforms in Texas, Minneapolis, New York, and California

Iowa's Racial Impact Legislation Having Modest Impact

Juvenile Justice: Unwarranted Racial Disparities and Increasing Punitiveness in Juvenile Justice

Drug Law Enforcement: Racial Differences in Drug Arrest Rates Cannot Be Explained by Drug Offending or Community Contexts


March 11, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
Marc Mauer's Testimony to Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections

Marc Mauer testifying to the Colson Task Force

In testimony delivered to the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, calls for reforms to federal sentencing structures to create an upper limit of no more than 20 years in prison, barring exceptional circumstances. Doing so would reduce the federal prison population considerably, avert unnecessary costs of incarceration, and provide resources for more effective public safety investments.


March 10, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
Senators Booker and Paul Reintroduce REDEEM Act to Protect and Restore Lives

On Monday, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) reintroduced the REDEEM Act (S. 675), legislation that would help to protect and restore the lives of individuals who have had contact with the criminal or juvenile justice system, while reducing recidivism.  

The bipartisan REDEEM Act would repeal the felony drug ban for some people convicted of non-violent drug offenses. It would allow the sealing of criminal records and improve the accuracy of FBI background checks. And it would make necessary improvements to the treatment of young people who encounter the juvenile justice system.  


March 9, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: Minnesota and Maryland Advance Probation and Parole Voting Legislation

Kentucky: Kentucky House passes voting rights bill

Minnesota: Bipartisan bill expands voting rights to people on probation and parole

Maryland: Lawmaker with prior arrest record champions voting rights bill

National: Civil Rights Voting Restoration Act

Books: African American Disenfranchisement