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SENTENCING POLICY



Changes in sentencing law and policy, not increases in crime rates, explain most of the six-fold increase in the national prison population. These changes have significantly impacted racial disparities in sentencing, as well as increased the use of “one size fits all" mandatory minimum sentences that allow little consideration for individual characteristics.

 

Sentencing Policy News
September 3, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: California expands voting rights to an estimated 60,000 people

California: State expands voting rights to an estimated 60,000 people on community supervision 

Maryland: Rally to Unlock the Vote on 50th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act 

National: Martin O'Malley calls for restoration of voting rights

International: More than 22,000 Canadians behind bars are eligible to vote


August 24, 2015 (Daily Journal)
Evidence Doesn't Support Federal Prosecutors' Drug Sentencing Reform "Myths"

In July, the National Association of Assistant U.S Attorneys (NAAUSA) released a report that challenges a number of claims attributed to proponents of federal drug sentencing reform. In a recent commentary for the Daily Journal, The Sentencing Project's Jeremy Haile shows that the evidence does not support the prosecutors' "myths." The truth is that federal mandatory minimum drug penalties have exacted enormous costs -- both fiscal and human -- without benefiting public safety.


August 9, 2015 (Business Insider)
There's blatant inequality at nearly every phase of the criminal justice system

Social science research shows striking racial disparities at nearly every level of the criminal justice system—from arrest rates, to bail amounts, to sentence lengths, to probation hearing outcomes. In eight charts, Business Insider explores what it’s like to be black in the U.S. justice system.


August 7, 2015 (The American Prospect)
The Growing Movement to Restore Voting Rights to Former Felons

On August 6, the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, dozens of Baltimore residents rallied and marched alongside community members to protest their disenfranchisement as the result of a former felony conviction.

In May, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan vetoed a bill which would have granted individuals with felony convictions the right to vote when they return home from prison, rather than making them wait until after their probation and parole sentences have been completed (some sentences can last for decades).

 


August 5, 2015 (The Los Angeles Times)
California will restore voting rights to 45,000 people on community supervision

California election officials are reversing a policy that prevents 45,000 felons from casting ballots, placing the state in the forefront of a movement to boost voting rights for ex-criminals.

California has until now maintained that state law prohibits felons from voting not only when they are in prison or on parole but also when they are under community supervision.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Tuesday that the state would now back voting rights for felons on community supervision, which is generally overseen by county probation departments.