Although Attorney-General Jeff Session warned a day earlier that passing the measure would be a grave error that risked putting the very worst criminals back into our communities, on Feb. 15 Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) pushed a sentencing reform bill (S. 1917) through his panel without amendment, on a 16-5 vote. Grassley…

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  In a policy memo issued May 10, Attorney General Jeff Sessions told federal prosecutors he was rescinding “inconsistent” guidance his predecessor, Eric Holder Jr., issued four years earlier on what information should be included in filing drug charges. Holder’s policy, issued in August 2013, changed Department of Justice policy on how federal prosecutors analyze…

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By Christopher Zoukis Maryland incarceration rates have been steadily growing in recent years, as has the average sentence length. In response, The Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council, made up of judges, lawyers, law enforcement, and lawmakers, was struck earlier this year to explore the reasons behind the booming prison population, and they are set to put forth…

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The end of October will herald new beginnings for roughly 6,000 inmates whose sentences have been reduced under changes to federal sentencing guidelines. While it might be tempting to attribute these changes to Obama’s push this last year for prison reform, these policy changes stem from wheels set into motion quite some time ago. Under…

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Important changes may be ahead for juvenile offenders convicted of murder in the state of Iowa. The Iowa Supreme Court will decide whether sentences of life in prison, without the possibility of parole, for juvenile offenders falls under the category of cruel and unusual punishment under the state’s constitution, thus prohibiting such practices. The case…

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Stephanie George is serving as a stark reminder that despite recent prison reform announcements, we cannot be complacent, that the struggle for re-integration does not end outside prison walls. George had been given a life sentence for “letting her former boyfriend keep drugs in their Florida home,” and assisted in his facilitation of dealings. While…

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Just as Obama did with his landmark speech at the NAACP several weeks ago, comedian and host of Last Week TonightJon Oliver has thrust the issue of mandatory minimum sentencing into the spotlight of public discourse. In a segment both critically astute and emotionally wrenching, Oliver demonstrated that comedians are amongst those taking most seriously…

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By Christopher Zoukis A few weeks ago I wrote about the passing of a landmark revision to the United Nations’ “Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.” In it, I questioned why the United States, a key player in the revision process, had remained so quiet since the announcement, positing that the silence was in…

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By Jason Pye / unitedliberty.org There has been a big, bipartisan push in Congress to right a wrong in the United States’ approach to the drug policy. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced the Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 1410), a measure that would end mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses. Rep.…

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