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Colorado Eliminates Life Without Parole

Colorado has officially eliminated the practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bills into law on Friday that will guarantee parole opportunities for the 48 people serving the sentence. Colorado banned the sentences prospectively in 2006, but did not devise provisions for the four […]

Pope Francis Honored As 'Abolitionist Of The Year'

ROME (AP) – An Italian anti-death penalty group has honored Pope Francis with the prize “Abolitionist of the Year” for his strong position against the death penalty and other forms of “inhumane and degrading” punishments. “Hands off Cain” on Friday cited Francis’ moves to remove from the Vatican criminal code life sentences, which he called “a death […]

Youth Advocates Using Documentary to Sway Public Opinion on JLWOP

WASHINGTON — Last year, documentary audiences first met Kenneth Young, a man sentenced to life in prison in Florida for crimes he committed as a young teenager. A year later, advocates still are spreading his story, hoping it will help end sentences of juvenile life without parole in communities across the country. The engagement campaign […]

Calif. Congressman Tony Cárdenas – Resolution: Stop Locking Kids In Cages to Die

SAN FERNANDO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Today, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley, Calif.) introduced a Congressional Resolution, calling on the United States to completely eliminate life sentences without the possibility of parole in juvenile cases. The resolution is a legislative companion to an opinion column authored by Cárdenas that will be published in […]

Criminal Justice Reforms Must Include Youth Behind Bars

Last week was unofficially criminal justice reform week. The president made an unprecedented statement on the need for criminal justice reforms at the NAACP’s national convening and made a first-ever visit by a president to a federal prison. The U.S. House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee led by Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings […]

For troubled youths, veterans offer shoulders to lean on

Two dozen boys wore cobalt polos and matching grins listening to the keynote speakers of their graduation ceremony. Absent from the event was a Little Village graduate who was recovering after being shot last week. The boys in the blue polos had all suffered. Some had narrowly escaped gunfire. Some were shooting survivors, some had […]

President Obama Takes On the Prison Crisis

On Thursday, for the first time in American history, a president walked into a federal prison. President Obama was there to see for himself a small piece of the damage that the nation’s decades-long binge of mass incarceration has wrought. Mr. Obama’s visit to El Reno, a medium-security prison in Oklahoma, capped off a week […]

How parole boards keep prisoners in the dark and behind bars

Reynaldo Rodriguez was 19 with a young son, a good job and no criminal record when he shot and killed a man. As part of an ongoing family feud, someone — Rodriguez believed it was a man named Robert Cuellar — had shot at Rodriguez’s mother and brother. Then Cuellar slapped Rodriguez’s sister. “I just […]