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Drug Policy

publications
July 20, 2021

Letter Supporting the Passage of the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act

In a letter of support submitted to the House Judiciary Committee, The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Amy Fettig expressed the importance of passing the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act.
publications
July 15, 2021

Statement on U.S. Department of Justice Stakeholder Listening Session on First Step Act Implementation

The Sentencing Project submitted written comments for a U.S. Department of Justice Stakeholder Listening Session on First Step Act Implementation.
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Featured Story

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.
publications
June 22, 2021

Letter in Support of the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act

In a letter of support submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Amy Fettig expressed the importance of passing the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act.
publications
June 16, 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.
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Featured Story

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
May 27, 2021

Letter in Support of the COVID-19 Safer Detention Act and First Step Implementation Act

In a letter of support submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Amy Fettig expressed the importance of advancing the COVID-19 Safer Detention Act (S.312) and the First Step Implementation Act (S.1014).
publications
May 17, 2021

Trends in U.S. Corrections

The Sentencing Project's key fact sheet provides a compilation of major developments in the criminal justice system over the past several decades.
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Featured Story

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.
news
Race & Justice News: Whose Lives Matter?
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.
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State Advocacy News: Community Challenges to Life Imprisonment
October 30, 2020

State Advocacy News: Community Challenges to Life Imprisonment

The Sentencing Project convened a national day of action in commemoration of the 49th anniversary of the Attica uprising and to demand life sentenced prisoners be included in COVID-19-related decarceration efforts. Groups around the country organized grassroots actions in support of prison releases.
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Featured Story

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.
news
State Advocacy News: Emergency Sessions Offer Pathway to Justice Reform
July 20, 2020

State Advocacy News: Emergency Sessions Offer Pathway to Justice Reform

Nearly one third of states have convened emergency sessions in response to COVID-19 or policing issues. Special or emergency sessions may offer criminal justice reform coalitions an opportunity to advance decarceration priorities, address racial disparities, and challenge collateral consequences.
news
Race & Justice News: Los Angeles Discontinues a Predictive-Policing Program
May 11, 2020

Race & Justice News: Los Angeles Discontinues a Predictive-Policing Program

Los Angeles ends its predictive-policing program viewed as biased, African Americans face disproportionate arrest rates for marijuana possession, African and Caribbean immigrants disproportionately isolated in ICE custody, and more in Race & Justice News.
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Featured Story

Christopher Poulos

When Chris Poulos was arrested, he experienced firsthand the difference that money can make in the criminal justice system. He recounts the experience in his own words.
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