April 29, 2021
Youth Justice News: The Sentencing Project Continues the Fight for Youth Justice
Youth justice has been a critical component of The Sentencing Project’s mission for years but in 2021 we are greatly expanding our capacity to address racial disparities and protect children from the most extreme elements of the adult criminal legal system.
April 28, 2021
State Advocacy News: Mid Session Trends in 2021
In addition to police reforms, state coalitions mobilized in support of anti-racist solutions to counter the nation’s punitive and discriminatory criminal legal system.
April 13, 2021
Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview
The United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed before turning 18. This briefing paper reviews the Supreme Court precedents that limited the use of JLWOP and the challenges that remain.
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.
March 25, 2021
Voting Rights News: Oregon Considers Universal Suffrage
The Sentencing Project worked closely with state coalitions in Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota and Texas to expand voting rights to citizens with felony convictions. We developed a series of briefing papers highlighting each state’s voter exclusion policies and the laws’ impact on citizens with criminal legal involvement.
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’.
February 22, 2021
COVID-19 in Juvenile Facilities
The widespread incidence of COVID-19 inflicts devastating impacts on incarcerated youth, their families, the staff who work in those facilities, and the communities they call home. The Sentencing Project is tracking COVID-19 positive diagnoses among youth and staff at juvenile facilities and the number of known cases in each state.
February 17, 2021
No End In Sight: America's Enduring Reliance on Life Imprisonment
In the United States, more than 200,000 people are serving life sentences – one out of every seven in prison.
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.
February 03, 2021
Racial Disparities in Youth Incarceration Persist
In an era of declining youth incarceration, Black and American Indian youth are still overwhelmingly more likely to be held in custody than their white peers.
January 27, 2021
Race & Justice News: White Supremacists in Law Enforcement, Germany’s Approach
German responses to far-right extremism in law enforcement are more robust than the U.S., over half of people stopped by Portland Police Gun Violence Team were Black, racial bias impacts risk assessments for Canada's Indigenous Women, and more in Race and Justice News.