How States Transformed Criminal Justice in 2020, and How They Fell Short
Date:  12-19-2020

Report contains nearly 90 state-level bills and initiatives, with 17 themes, and 7 maps
From The Appeal:

Criminal justice reform advocates called for sweeping changes in this challenging year. But state officials and legislatures largely ducked the COVID-19 pandemic that is raging inside prisons and jails, and the protests against police brutality and racial justice that followed Breonna Taylor and George Floyd’s murders. With some exceptions, they forged the sort of reforms that would have significantly emptied prisons amid the public health crisis or confronted police brutality and racial injustice in law enforcement.

Still, on other issues there was headway, and states—whose laws and policies control a lot about incarceration and criminal legal systems—set new milestones: They decriminalized drug possession, expanded and automated expungement availability, repealed life without parole for minors and the death penalty, and ended prison gerrymandering, among other measures.

Throughout the year, The Appeal: Political Report tracked bills, initiatives, and reforms relevant to mass incarceration. Just as in 2019, here’s a review of major changes states adopted in 2020. Continue reading >>>