Introduction to Project Decarceration
The Federal Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) of 1984, and Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 began a dramatic transformation in "the land of the free" and by year 2000 the United States claimed title of World's Leading Jailer.
In 2009, criminal justice advocates can point to new support for broad criminal justice reform, and growing numbers of leaders acknowledging that misguided drug policy leads our carceral crisis today.
Senator James Webb (D-VA) introduced S 714 on March 26, 2009, promising his bill "will create a blue-ribbon commission to look at every aspect of our criminal justice system with an eye toward reshaping the process from top to bottom." While this bill doesn't promise any certain actions, it is the first time a US Senator has asked for an overhaul of drug and other federal criminal justice policies. It's also garnered media attention and a broad array of mainstream support.
Bills introduced in the House of Representatives cover a range of drug sentencing reform, and November Coalition began a series of monthly meetings, choosing Saturday, May 16th for local November members to launch Project Decarceration. In sharing our experiences building local and national support, we invite you to begin a Project Decarceration where you live. November Coalition has details, worksheets and checklists on organizing for Social Change at Bottom’s Up and plenty of tips for planning fun and productive political gatherings.