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Incarceration

publications
July 23, 2019

Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview

Josh Rovner
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.
publications
July 17, 2019

WEBINAR: Take the Next Step to End Mass incarceration

The next step to ending mass incarceration must include scaling back excessive penalties for people convicted of violent crimes.
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.
publications
July 12, 2019

WEBINAR: Women and Life Imprisonment

The Sentencing Project's Campaign to End Life Imprisonment hosted a webinar discussing research and advocacy around women serving life imprisonment.
publications
July 03, 2019

Women and Girls Serving Life Sentences

Nationwide one of every 15 women in prison — nearly 7,000 women — is serving a life or virtual life sentence.
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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.
news
Disenfranchisement News: Nevada & Colorado restore voting rights to people on community supervision
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.
news
State Advocacy News: Local Strategies to Address Life Imprisonment
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.
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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
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Calls for Limiting Collateral Consequences
June 13, 2019

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Calls for Limiting Collateral Consequences

More than 44,000 collateral consequences exist nationwide that continue to punish people with felony records long after the completion of their sentence. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report provides actionable recommendations to the President, Congress and federal agencies on how to scale back these punishments.
publications
June 06, 2019

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.
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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’.
news
State Advocacy News: Steps to Challenge Mass Incarceration
May 29, 2019

State Advocacy News: Steps to Challenge Mass Incarceration

Many state legislatures are in the final days of session. The next few months are an opportunity for community organizers and policy advocates to reflect on recent successes and challenges in the movement to end mass incarceration.
news
Disenfranchisement News: Florida lawmakers pass new “poll tax” for voting rights restoration
May 20, 2019

Disenfranchisement News: Florida lawmakers pass new “poll tax” for voting rights restoration

Lawmakers in Florida pass bill creating financial barrier to rights restoration, Iowa Senate blocks voting rights constitutional amendment bill, and more in our latest Disenfranchisement News.
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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.
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