Aggravated Sentencing Blakely v. Washington—Practical Implications for State Sentencing Systems


This summer, the Supreme Court sent the criminal justice systems in perhaps half of the states, and the federal system, into a state of simmering unrest. Blakely v. Washington cast doubt on two decades of efforts to channel judicial discretion in sentencing by finding that the Sixth Amendment forbids a judge to increase a criminal sentence based on facts not found by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, even when those sentences are well short of statutory maximums. This report offers an examination of which state systems are affected and the options available to policymakers in affected states.


Report to Tulsa County Stakeholders on Jail Reduction Strategies

Like many counties across the country, Tulsa County, Oklahoma has experienced a dramatic increase in its jail population over the past five decades, with the per capita jail incarceration rate growing nearly 200 percent between 1970 and 2016. In response to concerns about the continued growth of the jail population, its costs to taxpayers, and impa...

  • Nancy Fishman, Rebecca Silber, Kelsey Reid, Stephen Roberts, Navena Chaitoo
December 14, 2017

Aging Out

Using Compassionate Release to Address the Growth of Aging and Infirm Prison Populations

Developing effective policies and practices to respond to elderly and infirm prison populations is a critical issue for all state corrections departments, which are facing a growing number of older people in prison and the associated costs of medical care. Through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), some states are working to expand a policy...

  • Rebecca Silber, Alison Shames, Kelsey Reid
December 11, 2017