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Incarceration

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New Prison and Jail Population Figures Released by U.S. Department of Justice
April 25, 2019

New Prison and Jail Population Figures Released by U.S. Department of Justice

By yearend 2017, the United States prison population had declined by 7.3% since reaching its peak level in 2009, according to new data released by the Department of Justice.
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Louisiana denies parole to 72-year-old Henry Montgomery
April 15, 2019

Louisiana denies parole to 72-year-old Henry Montgomery

On April 11, the state of Louisiana denied Henry Montgomery’s request for parole for the second time. He is 72 years old, and has been incarcerated since 1963. In 1969, he was sentenced to a term of life without the possibility of parole.
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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’.
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Race & Justice News: Violent Rap Lyrics Are Not Confessions
April 12, 2019

Race & Justice News: Violent Rap Lyrics Are Not Confessions

Rappers explain that violent rap lyrics are not confessions to Supreme Court, LAPD plans to change its data-driven policing program, Maryland lawmakers allow Johns Hopkins University to create armed police, and more in Race & Justice News.
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Vox: New Zealand may impose impose a life without parole sentence for first time
April 10, 2019

Vox: New Zealand may impose impose a life without parole sentence for first time

Vox's German Lopez highlights how life sentences are a rarity outside of the United States criminal justice system.
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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
Letter in Support of the Democracy Restoration Act
April 09, 2019

Letter in Support of the Democracy Restoration Act

The Sentencing Project urges Senate to prioritize passage of the Democracy Restoration Act.
publications
April 02, 2019

The Next Step: Ending Excessive Punishment for Violent Crimes

The Next Step highlights 15 reforms in 19 states implemented over the past two decades that have produced more effective, fiscally sound, and humane policies for people convicted of violent crimes.  
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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.
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State Advocacy News: Mid-Session Trends in Challenging Life Imprisonment
March 28, 2019

State Advocacy News: Mid-Session Trends in Challenging Life Imprisonment

At least 16 states and the District of Columbia have introduced legislation authorizing retroactive sentencing remedies for persons sentenced to life imprisonment.
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Washington Post: Reduce prison populations by reducing life sentences
March 25, 2019

Washington Post: Reduce prison populations by reducing life sentences

Criminologist Daniel S. Nagin highlights The Sentencing Project's proposal to end life imprisonment.
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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.
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Connecticut’s youths don’t belong in adult courts
March 25, 2019

Connecticut’s youths don’t belong in adult courts

Connecticut's recent experience with juvenile justice reform highlights why a recently proposed bill that would send more juveniles into adult courts is the wrong choice.
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Race & Justice News: Misunderstanding African American English in Court
March 04, 2019

Race & Justice News: Misunderstanding African American English in Court

Philadelphia court reporters regularly made errors in transcribing sentences that were spoken in African American English (AAE), South Carolina's civil asset forfeitures unevenly impact black men, and more in Race & Justice News.
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Featured Story
December 01, 2017

James Inge

James D. Inge is one of 300 individuals age 60 or older arrested between 1965 and 1980 that was sentenced to life imprisonment in Pennsylvania. Learn more about his campaign to give rehabilitated seniors serving life a second chance.
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