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.
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.
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.
September 28, 2020
Race & Justice News: Disarming Traffic Enforcement
Sentencing disparities examined in Massachusetts and Washtenaw County, Michigan, federal prosecutors targeted black communities while handling DC gun charges, Berkley to disarms traffic enforcement, and more in Race & Justice News.
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.
August 26, 2020
State Advocacy Update: From Defund the Police to Defund Prisons
The Sentencing Project hosted an online discussion highlighting efforts in California and Colorado to decarcerate and prioritize funding towards crime prevention and community.
August 25, 2020
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.
July 31, 2020
Testimony: Mandatory Minimum Sentencing in Virginia
Testimony Delivered by Ashley Nellis, Ph.D., Senior Research Analyst, The Sentencing Project For the Virginia House of Delegates Joint Meeting of Courts of Justice and Public Safety Committees
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.
June 12, 2020
State Advocacy News: From Protest to Policy
Following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others the nation is demanding justice through direct actions and mass mobilizations. Strategic solutions include a range of recommendations that address racial disparities, reduced law enforcement interactions, and sentencing reforms.
June 02, 2020
Letter on Examining Best Practices for Incarceration and Detention During COVID-19
The Sentencing Project wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee to examine the impact of COVID-19 on incarcerated populations and how best to prevent the spread of infection and save lives.
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’.