Proposed federal reform would end life sentences for children

A bi-partisan group of U.S. senators has announced the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, new criminal justice reform legislation that would end extreme sentences for youth, including life without parole, in the federal justice system.

This bill has been in the works for quite some time, and we are thrilled that senators included this provision. We appreciate Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) for their leadership of this effort on both sides of the aisle. Thanks also to Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mike Lee (R-UT), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for their vital support!

This proposal is consistent with national trends; fourteen states have banned life-without-parole sentences for children. Nine of those have occurred within the last three years, including laws passed this year in Connecticut and Nevada which become effective today.

Thanks to our diverse coalition, we were able to ensure the provision ending life without parole for youth was included as a priority in the bill. This marks the first step in the process toward the bill’s passage.

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