Ohio Will No Longer Sentence Kids To Life Without Parole

Ohio is expanding access to parole hearings for people who have been incarcerated ever since they were children. It will no longer sentence minors to life without the possibility of parole, and it will significantly curtail sentences that effectively amount to the same.

Youth justice advocates are celebrating Senate Bill 256, which was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine on Saturday, as their latest win in nationwide efforts to keep kids from spending their life in prison.


REDEMPTION AT STATEVILLE: Battling False Hope 4 Cookies At A Time

He did time in Pontiac. He did time in Menard. He did time in Stateville.

Those places held Smiley but they will not define him which is to say of course they will define him because how can you spend time in a place and not take a part of that place with you?

Now Smiley works at Legacy Reentry Foundation in Waukegan.


DC Passes Bill Allowing Reduced Sentences For Young Offenders

The D.C. City Council on Tuesday passed a bill to allow young adults who committed crimes a chance to reduce their sentences.

The legislation will give judges the authority to reduce sentences if offenders were under 25 at the time of their crime, have served at least 15 years and are determined to deserve early release.

This new legislation is reflective of a national debate over whether or not offenders in their teens and early 20s should receive the same considerations as older offenders.


Facing Life

At the end of 2018, more than 5,400 people in Pennsylvania were serving life without the possibility of parole. Some advocates refer to this sentence as death by incarceration.

On Thursday, the Board of Pardons will hold hearings for three people serving life without the possibility of parole and could vote Friday on recommending commutations for eight others who had hearings earlier this year.

The Appeal, over the course of several months, met with nine people who had been released from prison after being sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Five of these people were resentenced because their crimes occurred when they were children, two had their adult convictions commuted and two were exonerated.

Combined this group served more than 250 years in prison.


Mercy For Juveniles

Kyle Rittenhouse can be charged as an adult, and if convicted, could face a life sentence without parole.

Despite the anger I have toward him and his supporters, I feel strongly that Rittenhouse should have the kind of mercy that my son—and so many other predominantly Black and Brown Children—did not receive.

He is too young for such a harsh punishment.


Counting All Political Prisoners

When we think of “political prisoner,” we usually have in mind someone imprisoned either for their political beliefs or their anti-government activity.

In the United States today, very few people are recognized as being political prisoners. In reality, there are tens of thousands who should be recognized as such; not because of their political beliefs or actions, but because their continued incarceration is due to being exploited for political gain by politicians, prosecutors, and judges.

They may not start out as political prisoners, but they become political prisoners when they continue to be incarcerated beyond any justification and are refused release simply due to political calculations.

Tough-On-Crime rhetoric and false claims about the deterrent power of harsher sentences have been used by politicians for over four decades to get elected.

Joseph Dole Is An Incarcerated Writer, Co-Founder & Policy Director Of Parole Illinois


Candidate Survey: Action Needed

Elections matter when it comes to reforming our criminal legal system.

Restore Justice Illinois sent out its first candidate survey for all Illinois General Assembly and state’s attorney offices.

Do you want to find out how people running feel about important issues? Issues related to the criminal legal system? Including sentencing? And prison condition issues?

If so, we need your help to make sure candidates actually fill it out…