Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2017
Date:  02-05-2018

Briefing paper includes trends regarding sentencing, racial disparity, juvenile justice, and collateral consequences
The following message is from Marc Maruer of The Sentencing Project:

While much remains to be done to scale back mass incarceration, every day formerly incarcerated activists, lawmakers, advocates and others are working to advance reform. In Top Trends in State Criminal Justice Reform, 2017, Nicole Porter highlights important criminal justice reforms achieved in the last year. Highlights include:

  • Sentencing: Louisiana lawmakers authorized legislation to expand probation eligibility to people convicted of third-time nonviolent offenses and first-time low-level violent offenses. The bill also expanded eligibility for treatment alternatives and drug courts.
  • Racial Disparity: Legislators in New Jersey authorized use of racial impact statements to project the effect of sentencing legislation.
  • Juvenile Justice: New York and North Carolina, the country's only states that automatically prosecuted all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, adopted reforms directing that teenage defendants should be adjudicated in the juvenile justice system.
  • Collateral Consequences: Lawmakers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, and North Dakota expanded eligibility for public assistance for persons with felony drug convictions.

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

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