New Report: The State of Sentencing 2014

From The Sentencing Project

I am pleased to share two new reports from The Sentencing Project documenting changes in criminal justice policy in 2014 and successful advocacy campaign strategies in conservative state environments. The reforms highlighted in these reports represent approaches that lawmakers and advocates can consider to address sentencing policy and collateral consequences at the state level.

The State of Sentencing 2014 highlights policy changes in 30 states and the District of Columbia in both the adult and juvenile justice systems, including:

  • Scaling back sentences for low-level drug offenses
  • Reducing barriers to reentry, including employment restrictions and bans on public assistance
  • Eliminating juvenile life without parole

State Criminal Justice Advocacy in a Conservative Environment documents successful advocacy strategies employed in campaigns in
Indiana, Missouri, and Texas. In these states, advocates achieved the following reforms:

  • Reduced enhanced penalties in drug-free zones in Indiana by shrinking the limit of zones from 1,000 feet to 500 feet, and eliminating all zones except those around schools and parks
  • Modified Missouri’s federal lifetime ban on food stamp benefits for persons with felony drug convictions
  • Closed two Texas prison facilities: the Dawson State Jail and the Mineral Wells Pre-Parole Transfer Facility

I hope you find these publications useful in your work. Please feel free to contact Nicole D. Porter, Director of Advocacy, at nporter@sentencingproject.org to discuss how we can support your efforts in the area of state policy reform.

Sincerely,

Marc Mauer