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One Robber’s 3 Life Sentences: ’90s Legacy Fills Prisons Today

July 04, 2016

People convicted of non-violent drug offenses make up only about 17 percent of state prison populations across the country, while people incarcerated for violent offenses make up more than 50 percent.

The New York Times tells the story of Lenny Singleton, who was charged with robbery at the age of 28 and sentenced to 100 years and two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

While some groups in the criminal justice reform movement have prioritized the release of people convicted of non-violent offenses, other voices — including The Sentencing Project — have maintained that ending mass incarceration will require significant reforms for people convicted of violent offenses, as well.

People convicted of non-violent drug offenses make up only about 17 percent of state prison populations across the country, while people incarcerated for violent offenses make up more than 50 percent.

“People are celebrating the stabilization of the prison population in recent years, but the scale of mass incarceration is so substantial that meaningful reduction is not going to happen by tinkering around the edges,” said Marc Mauer, the executive director of The Sentencing Project, a Washington-based nonprofit that advocates changes in sentencing policy.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

 
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