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.
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.
March 31, 2021
Race & Justice News: Maryland Will Test Racial Impact Statements
Whites became more punitive near large Black populations in post-Jim Crow era, Maryland will test racial impact statements to assess legislation, Virginia police task force discontinues use of gang database, and more in Race & Justice News.
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.
March 22, 2021
Testimony to Oregon's House Rules Committee in Support of Universal Suffrage Act
The Sentencing Project offered expert testimony before Oregon’s House Rules Committee In support of House Bill 2366, a Universal Suffrage Act. HB 2366 repeals the prohibition on voting by individuals convicted of a felony and serving a court–ordered sentence of imprisonment for their conviction.
February 24, 2021
Racial Impact Statements
Racial impact statements are a tool for lawmakers to evaluate potential disparities of proposed legislation prior to adoption and implementation. Analogous to fiscal impact statements, they assist legislators in detecting unforeseen policy ramifications.
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 21, 2021
Testimony in Support of Virginia Racial Impact Statement Bill
The Sentencing Project offered expert testimony in support of Virginia’s House Bill 1990, a Racial Impact Statement Act. In recent years, legislators in several states have introduced legislation to adopt racial impact statements policies.
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.
February 03, 2021
Testimony Before Maine's Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government in Support of Racial Impact Statements
The Sentencing Project's Director of Advocacy Nicole D. Porter submitted expert testimony in support of Maine's LD 2, An Act to Require the Inclusion of Racial Impact Statements in the Legislative Process. Racial impact statements offer one means by which state officials can begin to engage in a proactive assessment of how to address these challenging issues in a constructive and proactive way.
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.