The State of Sentencing 2012: Developments in Policy and Practice
Date:  01-30-2013

Sentencing Project report shows how sentencing policy reform worked to reduce incarceration and increase public safety in 24 states
Nicole Porter, Director of Advocacy of the Sentencing Project, authored a new report,The State of Sentencing 2012: Developments in Policy and Practice, which shows what 24 states have done to help reduce incarceration, while keeping public safety at the forefront of sentencing reform.

The reforms in policy discussed in the report were implemented in the areas of sentencing, probation and parole, collateral consequences, and juvenile justice, according to the Sentencing Project.

Announcement of the report highlighted several reform measures that were implemented:

  • Mandatory minimums - Seven states – Alabama, California, Missouri, Massachusetts, Kansas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania – revised mandatory penalties for certain offenses, including crack cocaine offenses and drug offense enhancements.

  • Death penalty - Connecticut abolished the death penalty, becoming the 17th state to do so.

  • Parole and probation reforms - Seven states – Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Missouri, and Pennsylvania -- expanded the use of earned time for eligible prisoners and limited the use of incarceration for probation and parole violations.

  • Juvenile life without parole - Three states – California, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania – authorized sentencing relief for certain individuals sentenced to juvenile life without parole.

    The Sentencing Project invites advocates for policy reform to contact Nicole D. Porter at to discuss how the organization may offer support in reform efforts.
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