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Date: April 11, 2021

More than 600,000 Americans are released from prison each year. Lee Horton is one of them.  He was sentenced to life without parole and spent a quarter of a century behind bars before his sentence was commuted, securing his release earlier this year.

Date: March 26, 2021

Watch our webinar on the latest research and advocacy around life imprisonment, including information on race, women and the elderly life-sentenced population.

Date: March 16, 2021

Virginia is on the verge of eliminating the death penalty. While this is cause for much celebration, the movement to abolish capital punishment has too often pushed for another form of the death penalty as a humane alternative: life without the possibility of parole.

Date: March 4, 2021

As part of an effort to end mass incarceration in the American justice system and remedy decades of racial inequity, The Sentencing Project is calling for limiting prison sentences to 20 years.

Date: March 2, 2021

More than two thirds of the roughly 203,000 people serving life sentences in the United States are people of color, according to The Sentencing Project’s recent report on life imprisonment.

Date: February 18, 2021

The number of people serving life without parole — the most extreme type of life sentence — is higher than ever before, a 66% increase since The Sentencing Project’s first census in 2003. One in 5 Black men in prison is serving a life sentence and Latinx individuals comprise 16% of those serving
life sentences.

Date: January 12, 2021

In December, lawmakers and prosecutors in three cities—the District of Columbia, Baltimore, and Los Angeles—instituted evidence-based reforms to scale back excessive prison terms for serious crimes.

Criminologists and legal experts have long stressed that reoffending rates decline with age and that long prison terms are ineffective crime deterrents. Prison sentences should be given a secondMORE »

Date: December 30, 2020

In Washington, DC, a new law has expanded the number of people eligible to apply for compassionate release. Prisons are hot spots for COVID-19, leaving elderly and immunocompromised incarcerated people especially vulnerable to the virus. The new DC law allows elderly incarcerated people to point to the COVID-19 pandemic as an “extraordinary and compelling” reasonMORE »

Date: December 23, 2020

Our Senior Research Analyst Nazgol Ghandnoosh joined NFL veteran Josh Martin for his “Making America—Let’s Keep Talking: Justice for All” series  to break down why we need to end life imprisonment by capping sentences at 20 years in order to promote public safety.

Watch the full interview here.

Date: December 16, 2020

The District of Columbia Council overwhelmingly passed legislation yesterday to allow people sentenced to long prison terms during their adolescence a meaningful chance at release.

The Second Look Amendment Act (B23-127) will allow people serving long sentences for crimes committed before age 25 to petitionMORE »

Date: April 20, 2020

By releasing people to end overcrowding in prisons and jails, and by providing basic cleaning and protective equipment, officials can make vital inroads to saving lives.

Date: April 9, 2020

Correctional health experts have made clear that flattening the curve also requires significantly depopulating prisons, jails, and detention centers. While Gov. Gavin Newsom’s actions to date fall far short of this guidance, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris has cosponsored federal legislation that can serve as a model for the state. 

Date: February 25, 2020

In 2016 alone, America had 206,000 people serving life sentences, according to the Campaign to End Life Imprisonment, a branch of The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit that advocates for sentencing reform and racial equality in the criminal justice system.

Date: February 24, 2020

Virginia will give hundreds of people who have been incarcerated for decades, ever since they were kids, a shot at petitioning for release.

Date: February 22, 2020

The number of people serving life sentences in Louisiana is almost three times larger than the entire state prison population was in 1970, according to a new report by The Sentencing Project.

Date: January 31, 2020

As the number of people on death row decreases, the number of people serving life sentences has risen. Abolishing the death penalty should not serve as a way to replace one extreme sentence with another—but as a first step to reform extreme sentences altogether, says The Sentencing Project’s Ashley Nellis.

Date: December 19, 2019

The Sentencing Project’s Ashley Nellis explains why life without parole should not be considered the “humane alternative” to the death penalty.

Date: November 15, 2019

At the American Society of Criminology Conference in San Francisco, Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis of the Sentencing Project hosted a panel on the need to reform life sentences.

Date: November 7, 2019

Arnie King has been serving a sentence of life without parole in Massachusetts since 1972 for the murder of John Labanara. King was a high school dropout addicted to drugs and alcohol. He was seeking his next high the night he killed Labanara. Over the last 47 years, King hasMORE »

Date: October 28, 2019

Congress should finally take action and lift a ban that prevents people in prison from accessing Pell Grants to advance their own education. The current version of the College Affordability Act includes a provision to lift this ban for all people in prison, including those serving life sentences.