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Prison Sentences

News and opinions on the federal prison system, mass incarceration, and criminal justice reform.

Local jails are helping drive America’s mass incarceration problem

Pete Buttigieg has been criticized for his handling of policing. He hopes his criminal justice plan will change that.

Meek Mill’s decade-long probation showed how broken America’s justice system is

Curtis Flowers was tried 6 times for the same crime. The Supreme Court just reversed his conviction.

How bad prosecutors fuel America’s mass incarceration problem

HBO’s The Case Against Adnan Syed comes armed with an agenda and little else

The federal government markets prison labor to businesses as the “best-kept secret”

America’s prisoners are going on strike in at least 17 states

Trump commuted Alice Johnson’s sentence. Thousands of people like her are still behind bars.

“A multibillion-dollar toll”: how cash bail hits poor people of color the hardest

The death penalty is dying. Here's what that means for the criminal justice system.

Trump's Justice Department is trying to unravel the past 10 years of criminal justice reform

How America became the world's leader in incarceration, in 22 maps and charts

After years of promises, Obama might finally put a dent in the federal prison population

The biggest prisoner release in US history, explained

How a Senate bill could help Weldon Angelos, who's serving 55 years for dealing marijuana

Is criminal justice reform a dead man walking?

A CEO just got 28 years in prison after 9 people died from his tainted peanuts

Bernie Sanders's plan to abolish private prisons, explained


How mandatory minimums helped drive mass incarceration

If Joe Biden runs for president, he's going to have a big problem with Black Lives Matter

This judge didn't want to give a 55-year marijuana sentence. But the law forced him to.

This chart lets you devise a plan for ending mass incarceration. (It's not easy.)

Stop thinking nonviolent drug offenders are better than people who committed other crimes

More evidence that harsh mandatory minimums for drug offenses don't work

It's a low bar, but Jeb Bush sounds a lot more presidential than the GOP pack

John Oliver's eye-opening, haunting segment on mandatory minimum sentences for drugs

Mass incarceration is about way more than the war on drugs

Bill Clinton keeps apologizing for 1994's crime bill. He still doesn’t get why it was bad.

Obama is right about the criminal "injustice system": 7 ways it's racially skewed

Obama just shortened the sentences of 46 federal prisoners

A big part of the war on drugs is based on a huge myth

Boston bomber Tsarnaev breaks silence and apologizes during official sentencing

This judge says he feels "guilt and sadness" when he sentences a nonviolent drug offender

Why the new acting DEA chief might disappoint drug policy reformers

Hillary used to attack Obama for being "soft on crime." Now she's helping him look softer.

Hillary Clinton calls for end to mass incarceration, reversing Bill Clinton legacy

Obama just shortened as many prison sentences at once as he’d done his whole presidency

Ted Cruz's policy positions: a comprehensive guide

Federal guidelines allowed a 27-year prison sentence. A jury suggested 14 months.