Connecticut passes law to reduce extreme sentences for youth
Governor Ned Lamont signed bills to end extreme sentences for people under 21 and to move the state closer to removing its youth from adult prisons.
Join the Movement
The Sentencing Project and a coalition of advocates, experts, and partners launched a public education campaign, 50 Years and a Wake Up: Ending The Mass Incarceration Crisis In America. The campaign raises awareness about the dire state of the criminal legal system in the country, the devastating impact of incarceration on communities and families, and proposes more effective crime prevention strategies for our country.
Building on the Success of the First Step Act
In 2018, Congress passed and then-President Donald Trump signed into law the bipartisan First Step Act, a sweeping criminal justice reform bill designed to promote rehabilitation, lower recidivism, and reduce excessive sentences in the federal prison system. The Sentencing Project advocates for the full implementation of the First Step Act and is working to build on its success with legislation that would further reform federal sentencing.
Expanding Opportunities for Second Chances
The Sentencing Project works to expand second chances at the federal level through legislation, such as the Second Look Act, and changes to the federal sentencing guidelines. The United States Sentencing Commission annually revises the federal sentencing guidelines to reflect research and stakeholder input. We regularly submit comments on proposed changes to the guidelines and recent successes include the Commission’s significant expansion of eligibility for compassionate release.
More Than Half of States Now Ban JLWOP
In 2023, Illinois and New Mexico banned the sentence of life without parole for people under 18, becoming the 26th and 27th states to do so.
Comment on the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Proposed Policy Priorities
The Sentencing Project submitted a comment to the U.S. Sentencing Commission on its proposed priorities for 2023 and 2024. The comment addresses the Commission’s duty to provide guidance to the Bureau of Prisons, potential changes to the sentencing guidelines for emerging adults and people who commit repeat offenses, diversion and alternatives to incarceration, and life sentences.
Top Trends in Criminal Justice Reform, 2023
Formerly incarcerated activists, lawmakers, and advocates achieved important changes in criminal justice policy in 2023 to challenge extreme sentencing, expand voting rights and advance youth justice. This briefing paper highlights top trends in criminal justice reform in 2023.
Racial Justice Fund Grants
In response to the murder of George Floyd, The Sentencing Project established a Racial Justice Fund (RJF) to support our state advocacy partners. Since 2021, we have funded 30 grants to grassroots organizations across 20 jurisdictions. These targeted grants provide our partners with the support needed to build their capacity and increase the scope of their impact.