November 26, 2019
State Advocacy News: Direct Services to End Life Imprisonment
Community organizations working to challenge life imprisonment are anchoring campaigns to address mass incarceration.
November 25, 2019
The Sentencing Project’s 2019 Annual Newsletter
This past year we have seen a growing movement to include people convicted of serious offenses in criminal justice reform efforts.
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.
November 22, 2019
Disenfranchisement News: Kentucky Governor-Elect Poised to Expand Voting Rights
Democratic Governor-elect Andy Beshear is expected to sign an executive order that restores voting rights to people with non-violent felony convictions who have completed their prison, probation and parole sentence.
November 07, 2019
Taking a second look at life imprisonment
In most Western European nations, sentences of more than 20 years are rare either by statute or in practice. The United States, with just 4 percent of the world’s population, houses more than half of the world’s population of people serving life without parole.
November 04, 2019
Race & Justice News: Police Departments Reduce Low-Level Arrests
Report finds Los Angeles courts’ mandatory community service is “fundamentally coercive,” Philadelphia's African Americans are disproportionately stuck in probation trap, and more in Race & Justice News.
October 31, 2019
State Advocacy Update: Inside-Outside Organizing in Ending Life Imprisonment
Raising awareness about the realities of lifelong prison terms has surfaced new activism in dismantling mass incarceration. This awareness can build on years of advocacy that aligns the lived experiences of those sentenced to life prison terms to activists on the outside.
October 21, 2019
Disenfranchisement News: Judge Temporarily Blocks Florida Law Limiting Voting Rights
Federal judge issued preliminary injunction blocking Florida law, Iowa Governor continues to push to expand voting rights, and more in Disenfranchisement News.
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.
September 30, 2019
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.