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State Advocacy News: Strategies to end life imprisonment, expand the vote, and strengthen reentry policies
February 01, 2019

State Advocacy News: Strategies to end life imprisonment, expand the vote, and strengthen reentry policies

Since Florida's success with the passage of Amendment 4, lawmakers and advocates in California, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Jersey and Kentucky have advanced proposals to restore voting rights.
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Pennsylvania is poised for much-needed criminal justice reform, but can we abolish life without parole?
January 28, 2019

Pennsylvania is poised for much-needed criminal justice reform, but can we abolish life without parole?

Ashley Nellis
Pennsylvania is leading a nationwide trend of ever-lengthening prison terms. One in six people in prison is serving a life sentence, the vast majority of whom have no chance at a parole review.
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Denver Schimming

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.
publications
January 28, 2019

Letter to House Judiciary Committee Members on Voting Rights for People after Incarceration

The Sentencing Project urges House Judiciary Committee Members to prioritize passage of the Democracy Restoration Act.
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Disenfranchisement News: After win in Florida, Iowa and Kentucky consider reform
January 22, 2019

Disenfranchisement News: After win in Florida, Iowa and Kentucky consider reform

After the passage of Amendment 4 in Florida, Kentucky and Iowa are now considering voting rights restoration.
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Dorothy Gaines

Dorothy Gaines's life changed when Alabama state police raided her home for drugs. Police found no evidence of Gaines having possessed or sold drugs, yet federal prosecutors charged Gaines with drug conspiracy.
publications
January 16, 2019

Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2018

Nicole Porter
In 2018, formerly incarcerated activists, lawmakers, and advocates worked to challenge mass incarceration. This briefing paper highlights key changes in criminal justice policy achieved.
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The Brian Lehrer Show: Calling for the End of Life Sentences
January 16, 2019

The Brian Lehrer Show: Calling for the End of Life Sentences

Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis argue against any sentence longer than 20 years on WNYC's the Brian Lehrer Show.
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Willie Mays Aikens

In 2008, Willie Mays Aikens made headlines when a federal judge reduced his lengthy prison term to 14 years as a result of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s adjustment to the crack cocaine sentencing guidelines. Aikens was released in June 2008.
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The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Marc Mauer Calls For Abolishing Life Sentences
January 09, 2019

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah: Marc Mauer Calls For Abolishing Life Sentences

Trevor Noah interviewed Marc Mauer about his new book with Ashley Nellis on life sentences.
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Race & Justice News: Florida Judges Not Blameless for Biased Pleas
January 03, 2019

Race & Justice News: Florida Judges Not Blameless for Biased Pleas

Judges in Florida are not blameless for biased plea deals, Denver's curfew law enforcement targets Latino youth, and more in Race & Justice News.
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Kemba Smith

At 24 years old, Kemba Smith was sentenced to 24.5 years in prison for conspiracy to participate in her boyfriend's drug activities, a non-violent, first-time offense. For years, her parents galvanized a tireless movement seeking clemency for their daughter.
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Commentary: Progress on justice reform closer
December 19, 2018

Commentary: Progress on justice reform closer

Kara Gotsch
The First Step Act is an important milestone in the long road to ending mass incarceration and curbing the excesses and harm in the federal justice system.
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Criminal justice reform doesn't end system's racial bias
December 18, 2018

Criminal justice reform doesn't end system's racial bias

Nicole D. Porter and Leah Sakala of Urban Institute

Efforts still leave black men more likely to be arrested, sentenced and imprisoned for the same behavior

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Andres Idarraga

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.
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