Report: Unusual & Unequal

Published May 7 2024, the report Unusual & Unequal examines the unfinished business of ending life without parole for children in the United States.


In the news: Court ruling brings opportunity for 250-plus people sentenced to life without parole at age 18

Detroit Free Press: Court ruling brings opportunity for 250-plus people sentenced to life without parole at age 18

This story features Jose Burgos, CFSY’s Michigan Campaign Coordinator and member of the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network.

Staff Opinion: Children with adult prison sentences can still make good

Published originally in the Baltimore Banner by Eddie Ellis (CFSY Co-Director of Member and Outreach Services), read the full op-ed here.

Also accessible in PDF format here

Commentary_ Children who get long prison sentences can build new lives – The Baltimore Banner interviews CFSY

Danielle Riberio from interviewed Catherine Jones, CFSY’s Co-Director of Outreach & Partnership Development, about juvenile life without parole sentences and CFSY’s efforts to end them.

Listen to episode 525 on all podcast applications here!

Redemption is not a partisan issue.



In the past decade, there has been a trend of rejecting life-without-parole sentences for children across the nation. Lawmakers and advocates spanning political affiliations have embraced this policy reform that recognizes children’s unique capacity for change.

Ten of the 27 states that have banned juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) are conservative-leaning, red states. In fact, Kansas was the first state to ban JLWOP in the nation, pre-empting key Supreme Court decisions that catalyzed many state bans. Texas, Wyoming, and West Virginia were among the first ten states leading the national trend. In progressive states, many Republican lawmakers have been leaders, bill sponsors, and key supporters of this reform.

“This policy shift has been a victory for conservatism,” says Logan Seacrest, Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties Fellow at the R-Street Institute. “Permanently locking up children is incompatible with the values of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and the right to life and liberty.”