Fact Sheets
Featured Video
  • National Press Club Forum: A 25-Year Vision for Criminal Justice Reform
  • Unlocking Justice: Alternatives to Prison
State Contacts


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
January 28, 2016
State Advocacy Update: Unlocking the Vote with Grassroots Support

Maryland: Unlocking the Vote

New Jersey: Challenging Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System

Missouri: Scaling Back Truth in Sentencing

Other News: Conneticut, Delaware, Kansas, and more

January 20, 2016
Race & Justice News: The Limits of Focusing on Racial Disparity

Books: Youth of Color in the Changing Juvenile Justice System

The Limits of Focusing on Racial Disparity

Policing: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in New Jersey’s Low-Level Offense Arrests 

Milwaukee Police Department Requests Justice Department Review

Nationwide Racial Disparities in Drivers Killed by Police 

Sentencing: Rhode Island’s Overburdened and Racially Imbalanced Probation System

January 7, 2016 (Guardian)
Our compassion for drug users should not be determined by race

"Political leaders are displaying increasing amounts of empathy for those suffering from addiction. But, in a society still largely divided along racial lines, our willingness to express compassion is all too often a function of how much we can personally identify with those who are suffering – and that goes for presidential candidates too," writes The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Marc Mauer in the Guardian.

January 3, 2016 (Democracy Journal)
A 20-Year Maximum for Prison Sentences

To kick off 2016, Democracy Journal asked contributors for one targeted and straightforward idea that the next presidential administration should pursue in a symposium called "16 for ’16." The Sentencing Project's Marc Mauer's contribution proposes a 20-year maximum on federal sentences, barring exceptional circumstances.

December 16, 2015 (The Sentencing Project)
Race & Justice News: Are Judges or Prosecutors Driving Racial Disparity in Sentencing?

Federal Sentencing: Are Judges or Prosecutors Driving Racial Disparity in Post-Booker Sentencing?

Prosecution: Caddo Parish Elects First Black District Attorney

Pretrial Detention: Pretrial Detention Based on Resources, Not Risk, Produces Racial Disparities and Fuels Mass Incarceration

Juvenile Justice: Deeper Justice-System Involvement Increases Youth Mortality

Minority Threat in Juvenile Court Outcomes