August 13, 2019
Support Criminal Justice Reform in the District
A bill before the District of Columbia Council would extend sentence reviews to people convicted for an offense before turning 25, allowing a second look for more people who deserve a chance to reenter society.
August 09, 2019
Disenfranchisement News: Arizona eliminates "poll tax" for people with first-time felony offenses
Arizona eliminates "poll tax" for people with first-time felony offenses, Florida's legal battle on new voting rights measure continues, and more in our latest Disenfranchisement News.
August 08, 2019
Private prisons are only one part of our mass incarceration problem
Modest approaches only targeting prison privatization aren't enough to end prison abuses or mass incarceration. Bold ideas and significant resources are necessary to dismantle mass incarceration and overcriminalization.
July 29, 2019
State Advocacy News: Working with Crime Survivors to Challenge Life Imprisonment
State coalitions challenging life imprisonment include a range of voices like persons formerly serving life prison terms, faith leaders, and restorative justice practitioners. Crime survivors are also key allies in scaling back life imprisonment. Victim led advocacy represents a range of perspectives.
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’.
July 23, 2019
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.
July 01, 2019
Disenfranchisement News: Nevada & Colorado restore voting rights to people on community supervision
Nevada and Colorado expand voting rights to people on community supervision, civil rights groups sue Florida over new "poll tax" law, and more news in our latest Disenfranchisement News.
June 28, 2019
State Advocacy News: Local Strategies to Address Life Imprisonment
State organizers and advocates are challenging mass incarceration through reforms to recalibrate life and long prison terms. These efforts require legal reforms to correct the nation’s sentencing systems.
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.