May 20, 2019
Disenfranchisement News: Florida lawmakers pass new “poll tax” for voting rights restoration
Lawmakers in Florida pass bill creating financial barrier to rights restoration, Iowa Senate blocks voting rights constitutional amendment bill, and more in our latest Disenfranchisement News.
May 16, 2019
Criminal justice includes food security — we can't ban the social safety net
State that have rejected the tough on crime approach to welfare reform have improved public safety outcomes.
May 13, 2019
Opinion: Prisoners should be allowed to vote
As extreme as is our rate of incarceration in the United States, so too are our felony disenfranchisement laws by the standards of comparable nations. As of 2016, an estimated 6.1 million people were denied the right to vote due to a current or previous felony conviction. Of this total 1.3 million were incarcerated in state or federal prisons.
May 03, 2019
Kids who break the law need our support. Why would Texas put them all in one big prison?
The best solution to Texas’s juvenile prison problems is to send fewer youth there in the first place and spend money on community-based alternatives.
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.
May 02, 2019
Vox: Amy Klobuchar has a plan to reverse the war on drugs — and doesn’t need Congress to do it
In an effort to scale back mass incarceration and the war on drugs, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar outlined a plan to set up a new system of clemency that would release thousands of people in federal prison with excessively long sentences, reports Vox.
April 29, 2019
State Advocacy News: Grassroots Strategies to End Life Imprisonment
State groups in California and New York are anchoring grassroots efforts to limit extreme sentences in support of scaling back mass incarceration.
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.
April 25, 2019
New Prison and Jail Population Figures Released by U.S. Department of Justice
By yearend 2017, the United States prison population had declined by 7.3% since reaching its peak level in 2009, according to new data released by the Department of Justice.
April 15, 2019
Louisiana denies parole to 72-year-old Henry Montgomery
On April 11, the state of Louisiana denied Henry Montgomery’s request for parole for the second time. He is 72 years old, and has been incarcerated since 1963. In 1969, he was sentenced to a term of life without the possibility of parole.
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’.
April 12, 2019
Race & Justice News: Violent Rap Lyrics Are Not Confessions
Rappers explain that violent rap lyrics are not confessions to Supreme Court, LAPD plans to change its data-driven policing program, Maryland lawmakers allow Johns Hopkins University to create armed police, and more in Race & Justice News.
April 10, 2019
Vox: New Zealand may impose impose a life without parole sentence for first time
Vox's German Lopez highlights how life sentences are a rarity outside of the United States criminal justice system.
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.