April 29, 2021
Youth Justice News: The Sentencing Project Continues the Fight for Youth Justice
Youth justice has been a critical component of The Sentencing Project’s mission for years but in 2021 we are greatly expanding our capacity to address racial disparities and protect children from the most extreme elements of the adult criminal legal system.
April 28, 2021
State Advocacy News: Mid Session Trends in 2021
In addition to police reforms, state coalitions mobilized in support of anti-racist solutions to counter the nation’s punitive and discriminatory criminal legal system.
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.
April 13, 2021
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.
March 31, 2021
Race & Justice News: Maryland Will Test Racial Impact Statements
Whites became more punitive near large Black populations in post-Jim Crow era, Maryland will test racial impact statements to assess legislation, Virginia police task force discontinues use of gang database, and more in Race & Justice News.
After his release in June of 2004, Andres Idarraga became a full-time student at Brown University studying comparative literature and economics while maintaining full-time employment. Idarraga saw his right to vote as a significant and crucial aspect to rebuilding his life and to contributing to his community.
March 25, 2021
Voting Rights News: Oregon Considers Universal Suffrage
The Sentencing Project worked closely with state coalitions in Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota and Texas to expand voting rights to citizens with felony convictions. We developed a series of briefing papers highlighting each state’s voter exclusion policies and the laws’ impact on citizens with criminal legal involvement.
March 22, 2021
Testimony to Oregon's House Rules Committee in Support of Universal Suffrage Act
The Sentencing Project offered expert testimony before Oregon’s House Rules Committee In support of House Bill 2366, a Universal Suffrage Act. HB 2366 repeals the prohibition on voting by individuals convicted of a felony and serving a court–ordered sentence of imprisonment for their conviction.
As a previously incarcerated person who had his voting rights restored in 1996, Denver Schimming knew the power and importance of voting. His years in prison taught him that the criminal justice system could change only if impacted people spoke out. After his incarceration, voting was one of his highest priorities.
March 02, 2021
Expanding Voting Rights to All Citizens in the Era of Mass Incarceration
In order to strengthen democracy and address significant racial disparities, states must pass reforms establishing universal voting for people impacted by the criminal legal system.
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’.
March 02, 2021
Support H.R. 1 Amendment #14 - provisions to restore voting rights to all people with a criminal conviction
Expanding voting rights to people in prison, is an essential step to ensuring racial equity and strengthening democracy.
February 24, 2021
Racial Impact Statements
Racial impact statements are a tool for lawmakers to evaluate potential disparities of proposed legislation prior to adoption and implementation. Analogous to fiscal impact statements, they assist legislators in detecting unforeseen policy ramifications.