Report: The State of Sentencing Reform 2015
Date:  02-11-2016

The Sentencing Project covers the latest developments in sentencing, parole and probation, collateral consequences, and juvenile justice reform
Via The Sentencing Project February 10, 2016.

The Sentencing Project released a new report The State of Sentencing 2015: Developments in Policy and Practice , authored by Nicole D. Porter, Director of Advocacy. The report highlights reforms in 30 states that demonstrate a continued trend to reform sentencing policies and scale back the use of imprisonment without compromising public safety. It provides an overview of recent policy reforms in the areas of sentencing, probation and parole, collateral consequences, and juvenile justice. Highlights include:

  • Sentencing: At least 12 states authorized new sentencing laws or modified policy practices including: abolishing the death penalty; reducing criminal penalties; and sentence reduction policies for mandatory sentences.

  • Probation/Parole: Lawmakers in at least six states modified policies relating to community supervision including statutory guidance designed to reduce returns to prison for technical probation and parole violators.

  • Collateral Consequences: Officials in at least 14 states authorized changes in policy and practice to the collateral impacts of a conviction including: expanding voting rights; eliminating public benefits bans for felony drug convictions; and addressing employment barriers.

  • Juvenile Justice: Lawmakers in ten states adopted juvenile justice reforms including: banning mandatory life-without-parole sentences for justice involved youth and limiting prosecutorial discretion in automatic transfer policies for juvenile defendants.

    The full report, which includes a comprehensive table of criminal justice reform legislation in 2015, can be found here.

    Nicole D. Porter can be reached at nporter@sentencingproject.org to discuss how the Sentencing Project can support your efforts in the area of state policy reform.