Transforming the System


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Restoring transparency and accountability in sentencing

Transparency and accountability are cornerstones of effective justice administration. To ensure that sentencing practices are fair, we must demand that sentencing data is maintained and inequities are immediately addressed.

State governments, judicial ethics organizations, Congress, and state and local legislatures should:

  • Assess the impact of political fundraising and corporate contributions on sentencing to reduce their impact;
  • Provide details on judicial sentencing determinations, disaggregated by race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, age, housing status, sexual orientation, HIV status, ethnicity, sexuality, immigration status, national origin, and religious affiliation;
  • Provide regular and routine training programs for judges on implicit bias; and
  • Educate judges on their role in reducing mass incarceration and provide them with bench cards, which provide judges with short questions and guidelines to consider before judicial proceeding to encourage them to reduce their biases during proceedings.

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