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In This Issue: Where we work, mitigation training, the J.M.K. Innovation Prize, and a new team member
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ARC, Inc. seeks to transform the U.S. criminal justice system by bringing comprehensive and accurate life history investigation to inform the fates of individuals facing the most severe penalties.
Bringing Mitigation Training Where It Is Needed Most
As the result of the recent Supreme Court decision in Montgomery v. Louisiana, approximately 2,500 people serving sentences of life without the possibility of parole imposed when they were children are now entitled to be resentenced. These individuals have been incarcerated for their entire adult lives. For the first time, they will have the opportunity to provide information about their personal circumstances and experiences, which could be reasons for lesser sentences. 

But while the ruling gives them a chance for a change in sentencing, there is no guarantee. Defense teams now need the expertise of qualified mitigation specialists to develop persuasive life history evidence for the court’s consideration, and in some places, the system is overwhelmed. The state of Pennsylvania alone faces the need to conduct nearly 500 resentencing hearings. For many of the most vulnerable individuals affected, there is a very real possibility that, despite the Supreme Court ruling, their circumstances will not change without the assistance of qualified mitigation specialists to aid these teams.

Responding to evolving circumstances such as this one is at the core of ARC, Inc.'s mission. This weekend, our team will partner with the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation and the Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project to coordinate a two-day workshop in Philadelphia for those new to the field of life history investigation. This training was made possible by the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the Proteus Fund, which generously provided support for workshop logistics.

This weekend’s training will give participants the opportunity to learn the fundamentals and best practices of mitigation work. It is knowledge that will be critical to their ability to serve their clients, and ARC, Inc. is uniquely positioned to provide such in-depth training. 

ARC, Inc. invests significant staff time in providing this type of programming – coordinating and presenting at events throughout the country, developing workshop materials, and providing one-on-one guidance to past workshop participants. We do this because we know how vital it is and we want to do even more. However, the time we dedicate to initiatives like this is on a pro bono basis, which limits our capacity to offer as many training opportunities as we know are needed.

Your support can help to provide access to high-quality training where it is most needed. Please visit our website to donate online or learn more about how to support this critical work.
Welcome, Erin!
Please join us in welcoming our newest team member: Erin Fiaschetti, our Director of Development. Learn more about her past work here. Want to join the effort to advance change? Contact Erin at esf@advancechange.org to learn more about ways to support our work and spread the word. 
Support ARC, Inc.
Where We Work
 
●  ARC, Inc. provides consultation and training support to defense teams throughout the nation, targeting our efforts in jurisdictions with the highest rates of death sentencing. In collaboration with the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, staff members are currently working with teams in California and Arizona.

●  We are conducting life history investigations for 6 death penalty cases. These cases take us across the country, working with defenders in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Texas, and Florida, as well as two federal cases

●  We are providing life history investigation for 3 juvenile cases in Connecticut. Expanding our mitigation services into cases in which young adults were sentenced as children is an important step in our work, and one that will continue throughout the year.

●  We are developing, organizing, and building resources for the wider capital defense community about components of effective life history investigation. (Watch our upcoming newsletters for details on these developments.) 
Have you heard? ARC, Inc. is proud to be among the first-ever awardees for the J.M.K. Innovation Prize​​. Click here for a brief interview with ARC, Inc. Executive Director Elizabeth Vartkessian on the promise of bringing life history investigation into all aspects of the criminal justice process.






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Advancing Real Change, Inc. · 500 S. Conkling Street · Baltimore, MD 21224 · USA

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