August 13, 2019
Support Criminal Justice Reform in the District
A bill before the District of Columbia Council would extend sentence reviews to people convicted for an offense before turning 25, allowing a second look for more people who deserve a chance to reenter society.
August 09, 2019
Disenfranchisement News: Arizona eliminates "poll tax" for people with first-time felony offenses
Arizona eliminates "poll tax" for people with first-time felony offenses, Florida's legal battle on new voting rights measure continues, and more in our latest Disenfranchisement News.
August 08, 2019
Private prisons are only one part of our mass incarceration problem
Modest approaches only targeting prison privatization aren't enough to end prison abuses or mass incarceration. Bold ideas and significant resources are necessary to dismantle mass incarceration and overcriminalization.
July 29, 2019
State Advocacy News: Working with Crime Survivors to Challenge Life Imprisonment
State coalitions challenging life imprisonment include a range of voices like persons formerly serving life prison terms, faith leaders, and restorative justice practitioners. Crime survivors are also key allies in scaling back life imprisonment. Victim led advocacy represents a range of perspectives.
Kimberly Haven’s journey as an advocate began when she sought to regain her own voting rights after release from a Maryland prison in 2001. She soon became passionate about the unfairness of disenfranchising citizens after they have completed their sentence and returned to the community.
July 24, 2019
Race & Justice News: “To Protect and Slur?” Law Enforcement & Social Media
Black homicide victims' families less likely to receive victim compensation, increased racial disparity in Missouri traffic stops, San Francisco and Connecticut tackle racial disparities in prosecutions, and more in Race & Justice News.
July 23, 2019
Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview
The United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed before turning 18. This briefing paper reviews the Supreme Court precedents that limited the use of JLWOP and the challenges that remain.
Theresa McIntyre Smith
In 1999, Theresa Smith was arrested at an airport after she met a drug courier in Roy Mercer’s network and according to the government, identified a suitcase containing eleven kilograms of cocaine for the courier. Smith said she had been told by Mercer that the suitcase contained his nieces’ clothes. For this first-time non-violent offense, Smith was sentenced to a ten-year mandatory prison term.
July 01, 2019
Disenfranchisement News: Nevada & Colorado restore voting rights to people on community supervision
Nevada and Colorado expand voting rights to people on community supervision, civil rights groups sue Florida over new "poll tax" law, and more news in our latest Disenfranchisement News.
Lawrence and Lamont Garrison
Sentences for federal drug crimes are based on the quantity of the drugs involved, not the individual’s role in the crime. The emphasis on quantity rather than the role of the offender, along with the conspiracy laws, too often result in disproportionate sentencing, even for first-time offenses such as the Garrisons’.