It’s been a year since George Floyd was killed at the hands of police violence, sparking a critical nationwide reckoning on racial justice in America. His tragic death shined a spotlight on what The Sentencing Project has known, and fought against, for 35 years: our criminal legal system was built on, and continues to uphold, racism.
So while it was a year of change and challenges — for The Sentencing Project and our country — we are proud to say that our mission, commitment and focus remain the same. With your support, we are transforming our racist, broken criminal and juvenile legal systems.
I’m pleased to announce the release of our 2020 Annual Report where you can learn more about our program successes this past year:
- Ending Life Imprisonment: We provided critical research and advocacy to support the historic passage of Washington, D.C.’s Second Look Amendment Act. The Sentencing Project is bringing this success and momentum to nationwide efforts to roll back the extreme, outdated, racist and inhumane sentencing practices of the last forty years of mass incarceration.
- Addressing COVID-19’s Impact on Youth: We received high-level media attention – including from NBC News, Newsweek and the Washington Post – as the “go to” organization tracking the spread of COVID-19 cases in youth facilities; and published a report highlighting strategies for decarceration and protecting vulnerable youth.
- Protecting the Universal Right to Vote: We published the only resource for state-by-state estimates on the total number of Americans, and the disproportionate number of Black Americans, barred from voting due to a felony conviction. The Sentencing Project played a crucial role in pushing back against these discriminatory laws in Washington, D.C., and helped pass a bill to restore voting rights to 4,000 incarcerated D.C. citizens.
October is Youth Justice Action Month!
How Many People Are Spending Over a Decade in Prison?
In 2019, over half of the people in U.S. prisons – amounting to more than 770,000 people – were serving sentences of 10 years or longer – a huge jump from 2000.