Our Solution: A Responsible Sentencing Movement
Much of the current research and work around addressing the problem of mass incarceration is focused on certain large scale policy reform efforts, such as ending the war on drugs or eliminating mandatory minimum incarceration sentencing.
While these efforts are important, we believe there are other key pieces of the solution puzzle. Particularly, we need to focus on cases of discretionary sentencing, cases in which judges do have the ability to sentence defendants to probation but are choosing not to. It also encompasses situations in which judges sentence the convicted to longer prison (or jail) terms than the minimum required by statute. Rarely do judges provide a rationale that convincingly explains this choice. Justice Not Prisons wants to discover why this is occurring and how it can be changed.
To address the issues surrounding discretionary sentencing, we propose an innovative and grassroots response: Local Court Watch Advocacy Projects.