Time for a Second Look: Why We Must Review Extreme Prison Sentences
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Because excessive and extreme sentences have remained a staple of the US approach to criminal justice, we continue to incarcerate hundreds of thousands of people who no longer pose a safety risk. It’s long past time for a new way forward.
FJP and FAMM recently hosted an important conversation on how we can address this mass incarceration crisis through sentencing review and second look opportunities. FJP Executive Director Miriam Krinsky moderated the discussion with FAMM President Kevin Ring, Maryland Delegate Jazz Lewis, Multnomah County, OR District Attorney Mike Schmidt, and Justice Policy Institute’s Tyrone Walker. If you missed it, a recording of the panel is now available here.
“For too long, the prosecutor’s role in having and creating justice seemed to end at the sentencing phase…. Justice doesn’t stop at sentencing. It needs to continue…. We need to be willing to go back and look retrospectively.”
– Multnomah County, OR District Attorney Mike Schmidt
To learn more about why and how prosecutors should support second chances and sentencing review, see FJP’s joint statement by elected prosecutors and law enforcement leaders on Sentencing Second Chances and Addressing Past Extreme Sentences, FAMM’s Second Chances Agenda, FJP’s issue brief, “Revisiting Past Extreme Sentences: Sentencing Review and Second Chances,” and a recent op-ed supporting second look reform by D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine, Miriam Krinsky, and Kevin Ring.