New Report: State Advances in Criminal Justice Reform, 2016
Date:  01-24-2017

17 states targeted reforms in sentencing, collateral consequences, juvenile justice, and racial disparity
From Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project:

"While the future of national criminal justice policy is uncertain as we transition to a new presidential administration, The Sentencing Project believes an important foundation for reform has already been laid that will be difficult to undo. Our latest report, State Advances in Criminal Justice Reform, 2016 by Nicole D. Porter, illustrates the progress achieved in the last year. The briefing paper highlights reforms in 16 states targeted at reducing prison populations, addressing collateral consequences for persons with criminal convictions, and improving juvenile justice policy.

Highlights include:

  • Sentencing: Lawmakers scaled back mandatory sentencing policies in four states – Delaware, Florida, Iowa, and Maryland.

  • Collateral Consequences: Alaska and Georgia reformed felony drug bans on access to food stamps and Georgia and Massachusetts will no longer automatically suspend driver’s licenses for people with drug convictions.

  • Juvenile Justice: Officials in three states – Colorado, South Dakota, and Utah – banned the use of juvenile life without parole for individuals under the age of 18.

  • Racial Disparity: Legislators in Illinois authorized use of racial impact statements to project the effect of sentencing legislation, and will require regular reports on racial effects of decision making at various stages of the justice system.

    The full briefing paper, which includes details on the authorized legislation, can be found online here.

    I encourage you to be in touch with Nicole, The Sentencing Project’s Director of Advocacy, at to learn more and to discuss how we can support your efforts in the area of state policy reform."