Data are essential for good sentencing policy. It is impossible to act intelligently without knowing what is happening on the ground. This is especially true with drug offenses, which drive a significant portion of prosecutions and sentences every year. Accessible, high-quality drug-conviction and sentencing data enable sentencing commissions and legislatures to act decisively on the basis of reason and not anecdotes. Commissions can play a vital role in understanding the decades-old war on drugs and charting a path for the future. This article provides an overview of the drug data that state sentencing commissions are providing to the public. Each state-specific snapshot offers a brief explanation of the strengths and challenges of that commission’s approach to communicating drug data.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.