U.S. Sentencing Commission

Promising Beginnings: States Provide a Model for Federal Criminal Justice Reform

By Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:00pm
In his 2007 State of the State address, Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) aptly explained, “I believe we can take an approach to crime that is both tough and smart…[T]here are thousands of non-violent offenders in the system whose future we cannot ignore. Let’s focus more resources on rehabilitating those offenders so we can ultimately spend less money locking them up again.”

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 12:40pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice…

Threat to Current Sentencing Law Looms: Are We Headed Back to Mandatory Guidelines?

By Sandhya Bathija, Washington Legislative Office at 5:43pm

The debate over sentencing guidelines is about to heat up in Congress, according to a recent report by NPR. In a story that ran on Tuesday’s Morning Edition, Carrie Johnson reports that some GOP members of Congress aren’t happy with…

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer Gets It (Half) Right

By Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:57pm

Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer has a lot to say on our country’s criminal system – some good, some bad.

That was clear from a speech he made Tuesday to the American Lawyer/National Law Journal Summit that discussed…

Chance at Freedom: Retroactive Crack Sentence Reductions For Up to 12,000 May Begin Today

Chance at Freedom: Retroactive Crack Sentence Reductions For Up to 12,000 May Begin Today

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:11pm

Today, Hamedah Hasan can finally apply for her freedom.

Hamedah has been locked up for 18 years serving a prison sentence she never deserved.

When she was 21 years old, she and her two daughters escaped an abusive relationship …

Mandatory Sentencing Is Not the Answer

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:03am

Hamedah Hasan, a 43-year-old mother and grandmother, continues to languish in prison. She is 18 years into a 27-year prison sentence for a first-time nonviolent crack offense. Though the Nebraska judge who heard her case didn't want to give such…

A Call for Fairness

A Call for Fairness

By Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:03pm

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United…

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