29 States Acted On Prison Populations, Conviction Effects


Legislatures in 29 states last year adopted 55 criminal justice policies that may reduce prison populations and address collateral consequences associated with felony convictions, says The Sentencing Project in a new survey. The advocacy group said that four states — Connecticut, Ohio, Nebraska, and North Dakota — created sentence modification mechanisms that allow corrections officials to reduce the prison sentences of eligible

Four states — Arkansas, Delaware, Kentucky, and Ohio — revised mandatory and other penalties for crack cocaine and other drug offenses. The states authorized alternatives to prison as a sentencing option in some circumstances. Idaho and Florida expanded the eligibility criteria for drug courts. Illinois abolished the death penalty, becoming the 16th state to do so. The Sentencing Project says some of the changes were made because of fiscal constraints, and contends that there is a “growing recognition that large-scale incarceration has produced diminishing returns for public

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