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.
February 22, 2021
COVID-19 in Juvenile Facilities
The widespread incidence of COVID-19 inflicts devastating impacts on incarcerated youth, their families, the staff who work in those facilities, and the communities they call home. The Sentencing Project is tracking COVID-19 positive diagnoses among youth and staff at juvenile facilities and the number of known cases in each state.
February 18, 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.
February 03, 2021
Racial Disparities in Youth Incarceration Persist
In an era of declining youth incarceration, Black and American Indian youth are still overwhelmingly more likely to be held in custody than their white peers.
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.
January 27, 2021
Race & Justice News: White Supremacists in Law Enforcement, Germany’s Approach
German responses to far-right extremism in law enforcement are more robust than the U.S., over half of people stopped by Portland Police Gun Violence Team were Black, racial bias impacts risk assessments for Canada's Indigenous Women, and more in Race and Justice News.
January 22, 2021
Can We Wait 60 Years to Cut the Prison Population in Half?
Following a nearly 700% increase between 1972 and 2009, the U.S. prison population declined 11% in the subsequent 10 years. At this rate of decline it will take 57 years — until 2078 — to cut the prison population in half
January 15, 2021
Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2020
In recent years most states have enacted reforms designed to reduce the scale of incarceration and the impact of the collateral consequences of a felony conviction. This briefing paper describes key reforms that were prioritized in 2020.
December 02, 2020
Letter on Oversight Hearing for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Marshals Service
The Sentencing Project wrote to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee about its oversight hearing for the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Marshals Service, in regards to the government's response to the pandemic in federal prisons.
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 24, 2020
Incarcerated Women and Girls
Over the past quarter century, there has been a profound change in the involvement of women within the criminal justice system. This is the result of more expansive law enforcement efforts, stiffer drug sentencing laws, and post-conviction barriers to reentry that uniquely affect women.
November 18, 2020
Race & Justice News: Whose Lives Matter?
Oregon ballot measure tackles racial disparities in drug possession enforcement, San Francisco will respond to behavioral crisis calls without police, Black Kansas City residents cite distrust of police as contributor to gun violence, 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.