Overincarceration

Criminal Justice Reform 2011 – The Good, the Bad, and the Work Ahead

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 2:37pm
As 2011 comes to end, we’re taking a look back at the year in criminal justice. Over the next few days, we’ll run a series of blog posts on the developments, good and bad, that have shaped our justice system – from overincarceration and sentencing policy to the treatment of prisoners and capital punishment. Read the series here.
ACLU LENS: Supreme Court Rules Fairer Sentences Apply to More Drug Cases

ACLU LENS: Supreme Court Rules Fairer Sentences Apply to More Drug Cases

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:28pm

The Supreme Court ruled today that the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA), which reduced the disparity in federal sentencing between crack and powder cocaine, applies to people whose offenses pre-date the law but who were sentenced after its passage.…

Louisiana Passes Legislation Addressing Growing Number of Elderly in Prison

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 5:27pm

The Louisiana Senate has just passed H.B. 138, which will enable some prisoners to go before a parole board upon turning 60. The board can then decide to grant parole to those individuals it determines would pose no danger to the community upon…

Blame Mass Incarceration on Sentencing Policies, not Mass Crime

Blame Mass Incarceration on Sentencing Policies, not Mass Crime

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 5:16pm

Any competent explanation of why our prison population has grown by 700 percent since the early ‘70s will involve a number of factors, including changes in demographics and in the way prosecutors charge defendants. But new research confirms what…

Two Frustrated Federal Judges Show Us How to Have a More Fair and Effective Justice System

Two Frustrated Federal Judges Show Us How to Have a More Fair and Effective Justice System

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:52pm

In 2010, 22-year-old Jamel Dossie served as a middle-man in a series of hand-to-hand crack sales. After three transactions involving a federal informant, Mr. Dossie had handed over – “sold” – a total of 88.1 grams, or 3.1 ounces,…

Stop Incarceration for Profit in Your State

Stop Incarceration for Profit in Your State

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 3:28pm

A private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America, wants to buy your state's prisons and keep them full. Help us stop them.

In Yet Another Act of Courage, Chelsea Manning Comes Out

In Yet Another Act of Courage, Chelsea Manning Comes Out

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 4:23pm

Yesterday, Private Manning was sentenced to serve 35 years in military prison. After sentencing, Manning issued a statement, in which she bravely called for a more just society and stated that if she is not pardoned, she "will serve [her] time knowing…

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:02pm

Across the country, cash-strapped cities and counties are throwing poor defendants in jail for failing to pay legal debts that they can never hope to manage. On Monday, the New York Times told the story of Gina Ray, whose $179 speeding ticket…

It's Time to Discuss Criminal Justice Reform

It's Time to Discuss Criminal Justice Reform

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice & Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:51pm

Presidential election season is prime time for predictions. One sure bet is this: neither candidate is likely to make criminal justice a stump issue.

Strange Bedfellows Call for Mandatory Minimums Reform

Strange Bedfellows Call for Mandatory Minimums Reform

By Meghan Groob, Media Relations Associate, ACLU at 3:11pm

It's a rare day in Washington when Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) agree on anything. So when I heard earlier this week that Paul and Leahy introduced a bill together that gives judges more discretion on mandatory minimum sentences,…

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