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publications
May 12, 2021

A Second Look at Injustice

Nazgol Ghandnoosh
Ending mass incarceration and tackling its racial disparities require taking a second look at long sentences.
news
April 29, 2021

Youth Justice News: The Sentencing Project Continues the Fight for Youth Justice

Youth justice has been a critical component of The Sentencing Project’s mission for years but in 2021 we are greatly expanding our capacity to address racial disparities and protect children from the most extreme elements of the adult criminal legal system.
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Featured Story
December 01, 2017

James Inge

James D. Inge is one of 300 individuals age 60 or older arrested between 1965 and 1980 that was sentenced to life imprisonment in Pennsylvania. Learn more about his campaign to give rehabilitated seniors serving life a second chance.
news
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.
publications
April 13, 2021

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.
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Featured Story

Theresa McIntyre Smith

In 1999, Theresa Smith was arrested at an airport after she met a drug courier in Roy Mercer’s network and according to the government, identified a suitcase containing eleven kilograms of cocaine for the courier. Smith said she had been told by Mercer that the suitcase contained his nieces’ clothes. For this first-time non-violent offense, Smith was sentenced to a ten-year mandatory prison term.
news
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.
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.
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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
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.
publications
March 03, 2021

Private Prisons in the United States

Thirty-one states and the federal government incarcerated 116,000 people in private prisons in 2019, representing 8% of the total state and federal prison population.      
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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.
publications
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.
publications
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.
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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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