Skip to main content
News

Federal Sentencing Reporter: Using Data to Achieve Justice Reform

April 01, 2021
In the latest volume of the Federal Sentencing Reporter, The Sentencing Project's Senior Research Analyst Ashley Nellis highlights the importance of federal and state prison data becoming more readily available and transparent to adequately measure progress toward ending mass imprisonment.

Nellis, A. (2021, Apr. 1). Using Data to Achieve Justice Reform. Federal Sentencing Reporter.

Americans have grown uneasy with our ranking as the world’s leader in incarceration, which has made way for thoughtful discussion and debate around how to reform our sentencing and corrections systems. To adequately measure progress toward ending mass imprisonment, federal and state prison data must become more readily available and transparent. The Sentencing Project embarked on the work of documenting the number of people serving life sentences after observing a large gap in adequate information or concern about expansion of long prison sentences. We now know that long-term imprisonment is a driver of mass incarceration and that one in seven prisoners is serving life. Though all states can provide aggregate figures on populations of prisoners upon request, this information is insufficient to fully understand the life-sentenced population, including shifting dynamics within the population. Going forward, simple access to de-identified administrative prison records can serve as a bridge between policy reform ideas and their implementation.

Read the full article here.

 
Related Posts
publications
January 13, 2022

State Voting Rights Briefs

The Sentencing Project is committed to expanding voting rights in every state and works with state partners to provide specific data on state felony disenfranchisement.
publications
December 16, 2021

Youth in Adult Courts, Jails, and Prisons

Marcy Mistrett and Mariana Espinoza
This brief reviews the history, harms, pathways and trends that treat children as if they were adults.