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INCARCERATION


 
The United States is the world's leader in incarceration with 2.2 million people currently in the nation's prisons or jails -- a 500% increase over the past thirty years. These trends have resulted in prison overcrowding and state governments being overwhelmed by the burden of funding a rapidly expanding penal system, despite increasing evidence that large-scale incarceration is not the most effective means of achieving public safety.

U.S. State and Federal Prison Population, 1925-2013

Incarceration News
May 18, 2015
Race & Justice News: Why Are 1.5 Million Black Men "Missing"?

Policing: Over one quarter of police officers are people of color

Connecticut study identifies racial disparities in traffic stops

Reforms: Justice Department faces challenges in ensuring constitutional policing

Incarceration: "Missing" black men due to high incarceration and mortality rates

Fines and fees: States suspend driver's licenses over court-related debt

School discipline: Virginia schools top the nation in sending students to law enforcement


May 15, 2015 (NPR)
After Baltimore And Ferguson, Major Momentum For Criminal Justice System Reform

Lawmakers working on fixes to the justice system say that unrest in places like Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore is pushing them to act.

"The whole idea of a young man dying in police custody, the confrontations with police, the looting and burning of innocent minority owned businesses," Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said on the Senate floor this month. "The question arises, what can we do?"


May 13, 2015 (Christian Science Monitor)
For Tsarnaev, would life without parole be less humane than death?

Ken Hartman is 55 and healthy, but he says he feels like he was killed decades ago. When he was 19, he beat a homeless man to death in an alcohol- and drug-fueled rage, and he has spent the past 35 years in prison. So long as he is alive, he will not be eligible to leave.

Mr. Hartman is among the 50,000 prisoners in the United States serving life without parole sentences, a number that has increased 22 percent since 2008, according to a 2013 report by The Sentencing Project. And on Wednesday, the jury in the Boston Marathon bombings trial will begin deliberating over whether to add Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to that group.


May 9, 2015 (Des Moines Register)
Mandatory sentences don’t benefit public safety

"Sen. Chuck Grassley writes that mandatory drug sentences are necessary to protect communities in Iowa ['Response to bishops,' May 2]. But this claim is not supported by evidence," explains Jeremy Haile, Federal Advocacy Counsel at The Sentencing Project in a letter to the editor of the Des Moines Register.


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.