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"New York is Reforming their Criminal Justice System"
"What do the policies of Texas and New York have in common in regards to Criminal Justice? Well NY is following suit after a decade of success in Texas of reforming their criminal justice system."
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New York is Reforming their Criminal Justice System

For every hundred American adults, there is one person behind bars. For every four out of ten released, it’s only a matter of three years until they are back in the prison system. This vicious cycle has become normalized because we have kept prison an institution of punishment for every offender, regardless of crime. Someone caught with a few ounces of marijuana should not be held to the same punishment as someone who has committed murder.

06/06/2017
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New Sentencing Memo Takes a Step Back on Justice Reform Efforts

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo in which he ordered federal prosecutors to seek the toughest penalties for nonviolent drug offenders. The result of this change in sentencing policy means more nonviolent e will be subject to mandatory minimum sentences.

05/15/2017
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A Majority of Illinois Voters Support Justice Reform

A recent poll by the Illinois Policy Institute indicated that registered voters in Illinois favor criminal justice reform efforts. It additionally noted that voters would support candidates who promote reform as well.

08/10/2016
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Mandatory Minimums Do More Harm Than Good

On June 6, 2016, Families Against Mandatory Minimums (“FAMM”) held an event in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The purpose of the event was to shine a light on those convicted of drug crimes. It was called Are all Drug Offenders Really Violent?: Hear Stories and Judge for Yourself. It was a truly remarkable and thought-provoking lecture that proved that incarcerating someone for drug offenses would ultimately do more harm than good. The three panelists were Debi Campbell, Sherman Chester, and Marcy Thompson.

06/21/2016
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Weldon Angelos Released, Mandatory Minimums Continue to Put Nonviolent Criminals Away

Weldon Angelos’s story has become known around the country as a horrifying example of how harsh mandatory minimums can ruin the lives of non-violent criminals and their families. Angelos was sentenced in 2004 to 55 years for drug-related crimes. Judge Paul G. Cassell, who handed down the sentence, was vocal about his frustration with a system that would have Angelos spend the rest of his life incarcerated while child rapists and airplane hijackers received significantly shorter sentences.

06/16/2016
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Ayotte Amendments Are the Wrong Way to Address Drug Addiction

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) has offered amendments to S.2943, the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), that would make federal mandatory minimum sentences for fentanyl offenses harsher. Fentanyl is a highly addictive and powerful synthetic narcotic used in hospitals to treat severe pain. It is also used to cut heroin or substituted as heroin, which is leading to drug overdoses in New England.

06/02/2016
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Oklahoma and Georgia Governors Sign Conservative Justice Reform Bills into Law

This past Wednesday, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a package of justice reform bills into law, making the Sooner State the latest conservative state to adopt these “smart-on-crime” policies. That same day, Gov. Nathan Deal, on the other side of the country in Georgia, signed a smaller justice reform package into law, expanding on the state’s already impressive portfolio of justice reform initiatives. With the simultaneous adoption of these justice reform measures into law, conservative states like Oklahoma and Georgia are the pioneers in effective justice reform.

04/28/2016
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Justice Reform Package Passes through Oklahoma Legislature, Soon to be Signed into Law

In recent years, several conservative states have been at the forefront in tackling justice reform. As documented in the report Federalism in Action: How Conservative States Got Smart on Crime, states like Texas and Georgia have been able to cut back on total prison expenditures while also reducing rates of incarceration and recidivism. Now, Oklahoma is looking to emulate these great success stories, as a series of justice reform bills recently passed through the House and Senate. All that is left is the signature of Governor Mary Fallin, and Oklahoma will become the next state to implement a “smart-on-crime” approach to criminal justice.

04/22/2016
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Justice Reform Legislation on the Move in Oklahoma

Three bills that would overhaul Oklahoma's sentencing policies and another offering more drug treatment programs are moving toward a final vote in the state Senate. The bills, which have already cleared the state House of Representatives are part of the latest effort to overhaul Oklahoma's criminal justice system to make it more efficient, reduce recidivism, and enhance public safety.

04/06/2016
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Antonin Scalia: An Unlikely Ally in the Fight Against Bad Sentencing Policy

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia sent shockwaves through the conservative movement, and everyone, regardless of their philosophic persuasion, is trying to figure out what the loss of this conservative icon means for the future of the Supreme Court and the Constitution. It is likely, however, that the answer will not come until November.

02/16/2016

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