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.
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.
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.
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.
May 16, 2019
Criminal justice includes food security — we can't ban the social safety net
State that have rejected the tough on crime approach to welfare reform have improved public safety outcomes.
May 13, 2019
Opinion: Prisoners should be allowed to vote
As extreme as is our rate of incarceration in the United States, so too are our felony disenfranchisement laws by the standards of comparable nations. As of 2016, an estimated 6.1 million people were denied the right to vote due to a current or previous felony conviction. Of this total 1.3 million were incarcerated in state or federal prisons.
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.
May 03, 2019
Kids who break the law need our support. Why would Texas put them all in one big prison?
The best solution to Texas’s juvenile prison problems is to send fewer youth there in the first place and spend money on community-based alternatives.
May 02, 2019
Vox: Amy Klobuchar has a plan to reverse the war on drugs — and doesn’t need Congress to do it
In an effort to scale back mass incarceration and the war on drugs, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar outlined a plan to set up a new system of clemency that would release thousands of people in federal prison with excessively long sentences, reports Vox.
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.
April 29, 2019
State Advocacy News: Grassroots Strategies to End Life Imprisonment
State groups in California and New York are anchoring grassroots efforts to limit extreme sentences in support of scaling back mass incarceration.
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.
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’.