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Mandatory Minimums

100 Million Reasons We Need Justice Reform -- One Blueprint for How to Do It

Christine Leonard | Posted 07.30.2015 | Politics
Christine Leonard

One in three Americans -- as many as 100 million adults -- has a criminal record. Because a criminal history record creates barriers to housing, education and employment, it can often stand between another chance and another visit to prison.

An Open Letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder: Free Richard Wershe Jr.

Dean Dauphinais | Posted 07.13.2015 | Crime
Dean Dauphinais

Governor Snyder, I have no sympathy for drug dealers. Drugs took one of my sons -- and our entire family -- on a roller coaster ride through hell for seven years. But I don't think anyone should have to suffer the injustice that Richard Wershe Jr. has suffered.

Roundtrip Out of Prison

Doug Levitt | Posted 07.13.2015 | Politics
Doug Levitt

Mandatory drug-sentencing minimums that everyone from President Obama to Ted Cruz have railed against, are commonly viewed now as unjust law and ineffective policy. Three decades of this policy have changed countless lives and decimated entire American communities as a result.

Dana Liebelson

Thousands Of Inmates Await Obama Decision: 'It's Like Being In A Delivery Room'

HuffingtonPost.com | Dana Liebelson | Posted 07.13.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Dicky Joe Jackson was caught selling meth in order to pay for a bone marrow transplant for his young son. He’s now serving a life sent...

Reforming Our Justice System Will Require Fair Sentencing and Fair Chances

Christine Leonard | Posted 06.22.2015 | Politics
Christine Leonard

As Congress and the nation are increasingly focused on the need for systemic reform, the Coalition and its partners, on both sides of the political spectrum, believe we are on the cusp of meaningful change, through fair sentencing and fair chances.

Simon McCormack

What It's Like To Spend Father's Day In Prison

HuffingtonPost.com | Simon McCormack | Posted 06.20.2015 | Crime

Father's Day produces a complicated mix of emotions for the thousands of fathers in the U.S. who are imprisoned. "Father's Day is a uniquely diffic...

MA Politicians Who Oppose Mandatory Minimums

Paul Heroux | Posted 05.14.2015 | Politics
Paul Heroux

Being among the best of the worst is not an honor. Massachusetts may rank 48th in the nation in incarceration rates. However, our nation's incarceration rate is far greater than any other country in the world. This is not good.

Time to Put Truth and Common Sense Back Into Sentencing of Youthful Offenders

Steve Drizin | Posted 05.01.2015 | Crime
Steve Drizin

Twenty years ago, however, there was a different "truth" about youthful offenders. That "truth" was that the United States was on the brink of a crime wave committed by juvenile "superpredators."

Watchdog Group Names Leahy and Paul as "Constitutional Champions"

Ginny Sloan | Posted 05.26.2015 | Politics
Ginny Sloan

To recognize others who share our vision, each year we present our Constitutional Champion Award to individuals and organizations who have dedicated themselves to defending our Constitution and the principles it embodies.

Retired Federal Judge Regrets Delivering 55-Year Weed Sentence

The Huffington Post | Julia Craven | Posted 02.19.2015 | Politics

Three marijuana sales landed 24-year-old Weldon Angelos in prison for 55 years -- and the federal judge who sentenced him is now speaking out against ...

Dana Liebelson

Inside The Koch Campaign To Reform Criminal Justice

HuffingtonPost.com | Dana Liebelson | Posted 02.10.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Koch Industries, Inc., the corporation led by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, is holding discussions with a coalition ...

Imagining a President Who Speaks 'Truth to Power' on Juvenile Justice

Steve Drizin | Posted 03.22.2015 | Politics
Steve Drizin

It's time for the president to be decisive on another issue that not only has support among his base but also among an increasingly vocal minority of conservative and libertarian Republicans. It is time for the president to speak out about "mass incarceration."

Dave Jamieson

Organized Labor Gets Enlightened On Mass Incarceration

HuffingtonPost.com | Dave Jamieson | Posted 10.10.2014 | Politics

Backers of a California ballot measure that would release thousands of non-violent prisoners have found a surprisingly enthusiastic ally in their figh...

This Former Addict Beat The Odds After He Got Life In Prison

Huffington Post | Rahel Gebreyes | Posted 10.08.2014 | Black Voices

When Michael Banyard walked outside one September evening in search of cocaine, he had no idea that his 0.01 gram purchase would grant him an automati...

I'm Serving Life Without Parole For A Non-Violent Drug Charge

Euka Wadlington | Posted 09.17.2014 | Politics
Euka Wadlington

Despite the lack of any reasonable hope of release, I am demonstrating my commitment to becoming a better productive member of society in whatever way I can.

Ryan J. Reilly

It Took This Former Congressman Years Behind Bars To See The Need For Drug War Reform

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 07.11.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- A former Republican member of Congress is ready to join the fight for sentencing reform and rolling back harsh mandatory minimums for dr...

Letters From the Front Lines of the Drug War

Anthony Papa | Posted 08.18.2014 | New York
Anthony Papa

Locking people up for nonviolent drug crimes has become the way of life in the United States. The more stories we can hear of those subjected to draconian sentencing laws, the better chance we have to fix this broken system.

Why Audrie's Law Is Bad for California

Jeff Adachi | Posted 08.17.2014 | Crime
Jeff Adachi

The case of Audrie Potts, the impetus for Senator Jim Beall's Senate Bill 838, is indeed tragic. But SB 838, which creates a mandatory minimum term of confinement that is unprecedented in California's juvenile justice system, is not the answer.

Death by Imprisonment: America's War on Melanin Possession and the Indigent

MiAngel Cody | Posted 08.03.2014 | Politics
MiAngel Cody

Although the 1986 overdose death of 11-year-old Reynolds Allen Wintersmith Jr.'s mother, unlike that of all-American basketball standout Len Bias that same year, did not thrust our nation's legislators into reactive political pandemonium, the federal drug-sentencing policies of that year would later impact this motherless son's life in a most damning and undeniable way.

Matt Sledge

Prosecutor Tells Black Congressmembers The War On Drugs Isn't Racist

HuffingtonPost.com | Matt Sledge | Posted 05.30.2014 | Politics

McGruff the Crime Dog and Nancy Reagan must have been busy. Two former federal prosecutors testifying at a House Judiciary hearing on Friday said the ...

Ryan J. Reilly

Republican Leaps To Defense Of DEA Chief Against 'Nixonian' Obama Administration

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 05.21.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) this week jumped to the defense of Michele Leonhart, the Drug Enforcement Administration head who has recently b...

Ryan J. Reilly

This Man Was Sentenced To Die In Prison. Now He Wants To Fix The Law That Put Him There.

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 05.21.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Reynolds Wintersmith wasn't supposed to be here. Not in front of the White House, or in the halls of the Justice Department, or meeting ...

Criminal Injustice

Rep. John Conyers | Posted 07.21.2014 | Politics
Rep. John Conyers

For decades, Congress has implemented policies that distort America's criminal justice system and tip the scales of justice in favor of punishment over rehabilitation. As a matter of civil rights and basic justice, our criminal justice system must change.

Ryan J. Reilly

America's Top Cop Wages A Long Battle To Dial Back The Drug War

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 06.02.2014 | Politics

After years beset by scandal and criticism, Attorney General Eric Holder (right) is working to reform the criminal justice system -- a project that co...

Ryan J. Reilly

DEA Chief Dials Back Drug War Bluster After Talk With Holder

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 05.16.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart and her boss, Attorney General Eric Holder, appear locked in a bureaucratic staring matc...