Several states took steps this year to give the people responsible for sentencing more options—some are even allowing decision makers to take another look at existing sentences.
Colorado passed a law establishing programs to divert people into community treatment for mental health issues instead of incarcerating them.Colorado SB 249(2018).
Oklahoma and Ohio took another look at—and lowered—requirements for participating in community corrections, making parole available earlier and to more people.Oklahoma SB 904 (2018); and Ohio SB 66(2017).
Oklahoma also gave consideration to people who had already been sentenced, allowing sentences of life without parole to be reduced if they are not for violent crimes and making parole available earlier for those incarcerated after November.Oklahoma: SB 689 (2018); and Oklahoma HB 2286 (2018). California expanded who has discretion to review previously issued sentences beyond judges. With AB 2492, courts, correctional administrators, and district attorneys are now all allowed to recommend the resentencing of incarcerated people based on a determination that the original sentence was unjust.California AB2942 (2018). But Indiana reduced the court’s discretion: judges will no longer be permitted to make reductions in plea agreement sentences without the prosecuting attorney’s consent.Indiana SB 64(2018)