November 26, 2019
State Advocacy News: Direct Services to End Life Imprisonment
Community organizations working to challenge life imprisonment are anchoring campaigns to address mass incarceration.
November 25, 2019
The Sentencing Project’s 2019 Annual Newsletter
This past year we have seen a growing movement to include people convicted of serious offenses in criminal justice reform efforts.
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’.
November 07, 2019
Taking a second look at life imprisonment
In most Western European nations, sentences of more than 20 years are rare either by statute or in practice. The United States, with just 4 percent of the world’s population, houses more than half of the world’s population of people serving life without parole.
October 31, 2019
State Advocacy Update: Inside-Outside Organizing in Ending Life Imprisonment
Raising awareness about the realities of lifelong prison terms has surfaced new activism in dismantling mass incarceration. This awareness can build on years of advocacy that aligns the lived experiences of those sentenced to life prison terms to activists on the outside.
September 30, 2019
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.
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.
September 30, 2019
State Advocacy Update: Research Resources to Challenge Mass Incarceration
Research is a starting point for many activists challenging mass incarceration, including tracking state imprisonment levels and other trends. Dismantling punitive policies that contribute to high prison populations requires a collaborative approach to shift hearts and minds through advocacy, research, and other strategies.
September 27, 2019
Race & Justice News: Racial Impact of Florida’s Criminal Laws
State supreme courts less reflective of nation’s diversity, Florida lawmakers partner with researchers to assess racial impact of legislation, increase in Virginia's marijuana arrests sparks calls for change, and more in Race & Justice News.
September 26, 2019
A Second Look at Long Sentences Is the Bold Approach We Need on Criminal Justice Reform
For the bipartisan lawmakers in Washington, and the 2020 presidential candidates who have pledged to address the problems in the criminal justice system, a broader approach to challenge mass incarceration and promote public safety is long overdue.
September 17, 2019
U.S. Prison Population Trends: Massive Buildup and Modest Decline
While most states have downsized their prison populations in recent years, the pace of decarceration is insufficient to undo nearly four decades of unrelenting growth.