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March 1, 2012

"The Lives of Juvenile Lifers: Findings from a National Survey"

The title of this post is the title of this important and timely new report from the folks at The Swentencing Project.  Here is how the report is described in an e-mail I received today:

The Lives of Juvenile Lifers presents findings from the first-ever national survey of this population, a comprehensive look that offers new perspectives on people who committed crimes before the age of 18, and some as young as 13. More than 2,500 people are currently serving these sentences in the United States.

The report comes just weeks before the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the cases of two 14-year olds, Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, which will address questions about the constitutionality of sentencing teens to life without the possibility of parole.

“Most juveniles serving life without parole sentences experienced trauma and neglect long before they engaged in their crimes,” stated Ashley Nellis, research analyst of The Sentencing Project and author of the report.  “The findings from this survey do not excuse the crimes committed but they help explain them. With time, rehabilitation and maturity, some of these youth could one day safely re-enter society and contribute positively to their families and their communities.”

The Lives of Juvenile Lifers survey draws a portrait of the severe disadvantage experienced by those serving life sentences without parole:

  • Juvenile lifers, especially girls, suffered high rates of abuse — nearly half (46.9%) of lifers experienced physical abuse, including 79.5 % among girls. 
  • Juvenile lifers were exposed to high levels of violence in their homes (79%) and their communities (54.1%).
  • African American youth constitute 43.4% of life without parole sentences for a murder with a white victim, nearly twice the rate at which they are arrested for such crimes, 23.7%.

Failed by systems intended to protect youth, many juveniles sentenced to life without parole first suffer from extreme socioeconomic disadvantage, and are then sentenced to an extreme punishment deemed unacceptable in any other nation.

March 1, 2012 at 03:54 PM | Permalink


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The abuse histories are suspect. Assume they were true. The abuse come from 1) how difficult these children were to control; 2) the familial impulsivity that made these girls criminals; 3) the high rate of substance abuse among the parents. The abuse is a result of the defects in the criminals and in their families.

This study is a Trojan Horse for worthless government make work for service providers for these criminals. They will be needed for the rest of their lives. They will respond to structure, and will relapse upon discharge. Why not save some money and get rid of ultra-violent predators? The deceased have a zero recidivism rate, guaranteed. Why not? Because the worthless government workers want those jobs. That is why the lawyer is so biased in favor of the criminal, and against crime victims. Victims generate nothing, and may rot. It is time for direct action groups to bring violent self help to these rent seekers. Rent seeking is a synonym for armed robbery, and all violence has good moral, intellectual, and policy justification against the rent seeker.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 2, 2012 7:17:34 AM

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