Skip to main content

Issues

Drug Policy

publications
October 13, 2021

The Color of Justice: Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State Prisons

Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at nearly five times the rate of whites, and Latinx people are 1.3 times as likely to be incarcerated than non-Latinx whites. This report documents the rates of incarceration for white, Black and Latinx Americans in each state, identifies three contributors to racial and ethnic disparities in imprisonment, and provides recommendations for reform.
publications
September 13, 2021

Letter Supporting Immediate Consideration and Passage of Sentencing Reform Legislation

At least three bipartisan sentencing reform proposals, the First Step Implementation Act (S.1014), the COVID-19 Safer Detention Act (S.312), and the Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act (S.601) await a floor vote after the Judiciary Committee approved them this past spring.
Featured Story
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.
news
July 27, 2021

Race & Justice News: Eliminating Crack / Cocaine Sentencing Disparity

House Vote on Eliminating Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine, a study commissioned by Denver District Attorney finds disparate prosecutorial outcomes, and more in Race & Justice News.
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.
Featured Story
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
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.
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.
Featured Story
Featured Story

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’.
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.
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).
Featured Story
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
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.
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.
Featured Story
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.
Load More