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USF Fellowship Focuses on Criminal Sentencing Reform

June 28, 2011

The University of San Francisco’s Center for Law and Global Justice recently received a Ford Foundation grant for the project “Marshalling Global Human Rights to Reform Criminal Punishment and Sentencing in the United States.”

Human Rights Fellow Amanda Solter

The grant is funding a two-year fellowship for research on and advocacy relating to extreme criminal sentences, such as life without parole. Amanda Solter '09 is serving as human rights fellow for the project.

“This fellowship has helped to cement my goals in pursuing a career in international human rights advocacy,” she said.

Solter is investigating sentencing laws and procedures in Latin American, Caribbean, and African countries.

By conducting a global survey of criminal sentencing, the project endeavors to demonstrate that the United States is in violation of international law and an outlier in the global community due to its harsh sentencing practices. The project will publish a report that will be used to advocate for sentencing reform in the U.S.

“I have always known that I wanted to pursue a career in international human rights but it was USF’s exceptional programs that helped me narrow my focus and make my goals a reality,” said Solter, who participated in the Frank C. Newman International Human Rights Law Clinic and in USF programs in Cambodia and the Dominican Republic. “Whether in criminal sentencing reform or some other area of human rights work, I know that I will be well prepared for whatever comes next.”

For additional information on the fellowship, click here.