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The Sentencing Project News
November 4, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: Investigation reveals arbitrary process of voting rights restoration

Florida: Jeb Bush approved only one-fifth of the 385K applications for civil rights submitted while governor

Iowa: Judge upholds state ban on voting with a felony conviction

National: Rep. Jeffries proposes bill to restore voting rights in federal elections

Attorney General Loretta Lynch on felony disenfranchisement: "Let them vote."

International: New Zealand High Court rules against blanket ban on prison voting 


October 29, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Budget Remedies to Address Mass Incarceration

Budget Remedies to Address Mass Incarceration

Early Start: Legislative Pre-filing

Social Networking for Reform

Other News: Oklahoma, Michigan and New York

This time of year offers advocacy organizations an opportunity to determine policy goals and strengthen the infrastructure necessary to advance reform remedies. Many organizations are in research mode, determining what officials approved in other states and assessing the viability of working towards similar goals in their own jurisdictions. Prior to the start of session many state organizers are convening coalition meetings, discussing points of consensus, and identifying champions for policy goals.


October 25, 2015 (Associated Press)
Early Release: Who the Drug Felons Are and Where They'll Go

At the end of the month, the federal prison system is set to release 6,000 individuals convicted for drug offenses — the largest one-time release of federal prisoners — as part of a national effort to reduce the impact of overly harsh sentencing laws. The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Marc Mauer explains to the Associated Press that the early release of individuals convicted for drug offenses is expected to have a very minimal effect on public safety.


October 21, 2015
Race & Justice News: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South

Diversity: Latinos Underrepresented Among California State Prosecutors

Where Police Don't Mirror Communities and How to Change That 

Books: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South

African Americans' Role in the Creation of Mass Incarceration

International: Overrepresentation of Indigenous People in Prison in Australia and Canada


October 19, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
Marc Mauer Testifies Before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, Marc Mauer urges Congress to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, a bipartisan reform bill introduced earlier this month. The legislation would take a number of steps forward to reverse harsh penalties that have come at a ruinous cost to families and taxpayers while producing diminishing returns for public safety.


October 13, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
Justices Question Florida’s Death Penalty System

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could decide whether a 2012 ruling barring mandatory life sentences for juvenile offenders can be applied retroactively, but the arguments "devolved into a tangled discussion on a jurisdictional issue that may derail a ruling in the case," the New York Times reports.


October 3, 2015 (NPR)
Here's One Thing Washington Agreed On This Week: Sentencing Reform

"It's wonder enough in sharply-divided Washington that nine Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate came together this week to do anything, let alone touch the once politically charged arena of crime and punishment. But groups as different as the ACLU and Koch Industries had joined this year in a coalition to press for change, and so too did senators as different as Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin," reports NPR.


October 1, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
Momentous Legislation Indicates "Tough on Crime" Days are Over

Today, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are coming together to end a disastrous era of "tough on crime" politics. The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, introduced today by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), takes a number of steps forward to reverse harsh penalties that have come at a ruinous cost to families and taxpayers while producing diminishing returns for public safety.


September 18, 2015 (Governing)
Treating the Infectious Disease of Violent Crime

"Residents of the communities that experience violent crime want it to stop, and there are better ways to make that happen than simply re-filling our prisons," writes Nicole Porter, Director of Advocacy at The Sentencing Project in a commentary in Governing. "In the long term, approaches to do so include early childhood education, targeted employment initiatives and therapeutic health interventions. But to respond to immediate concerns, we need to address the interpersonal conflicts that often trigger these events."


September 14, 2015
Race & Justice News: Supreme Court to review Georgia death penalty case for racial bias

Reforms: Policing and Municipal Courts in Ferguson and Missouri

Stop and Frisk in Chicago 

ABA-LDF Joint Statement on Eliminating Bias in the Criminal Justice System 

Persistent Racial Disparities Following Marijuana Reforms in Miami-Dade and Seattle 

School Discipline: Students of Color More Likely to Receive Harsh Response to Misbehavior 

Racial Disparities in School Discipline in Southern States 

Advocacy and Reforms in Miami-Dade, Texas, and Compton 

Youth Justice: Justice Department Finds Racial Bias in St. Louis County Youth Courts 

Death Penalty: Constitutional Concerns with Executions in Lousiana, Colorado, and Georgia