FACTS ABOUT THE 1000 PEOPLE WHO WERE TOLD AS CHILDREN THEY WOULD DIE IN PRISON AND ARE NOW FREE
What do you know about these 1000 individuals who were told as children they would die in prison serving life without parole and are now free? Their recidivism rates are exceedingly low, while the time they served is exceedingly high. Meanwhile, Americans agree they deserved a chance for release and deserve opportunities to succeed. Help us support those who are home and a part of the Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network (ICAN) by making a gift to the CFSY today.
- RECIDIVISM RATES OF FORMER JUVENILE LIFERS ARE EXTREMELY LOW: BETWEEN 0 AND 2%. A study in Louisiana found the recidivism rate of those who were sentenced to juvenile life without parole to be 0% while a study in Pennsylvania found it to be 1.14%. the national recidivism rate is reported to be between 40% and 68%.
- THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF YEARS THESE 1000 FORMER JUVENILE LIFERS SERVED IS EXTREMELY HIGH: 30 YEARS. The median time served for homicide in the U.S. is 17 years according to statistics from the federal bureau of justice – up from less than six years before the year 2000.
- THE AVERAGE AGE UPON RELEASE: 47 YEARS OLD. While teenagers are more prone to break the law, most who commit serious crimes mature out of a tendency to break laws around 25 years old, according to criminologists, biological brain researchers, and decades of experience.
- AMERICANS OVERWHELMINGLY BELIEVE THESE 1000 HAVE A CAPACITY FOR POSITIVE CHANGE: 70%. Over two-thirds of Americans agree that children who receive lengthy sentences should have their sentences reviewed by a judge or parole board after no more than 15 years, with the opportunity for release. This majority holds across race, age, gender, political affiliation, and education.
- THE LONGEST SERVING AND OLDEST TO BE FREED: JOE LIGON. Locked up at age 15, Joe Ligon became the nation’s longest-serving juvenile ‘lifer.’ at 83, he became the oldest to be freed.
People sentenced to JLWOP have been released from prison through a variety of pathways since Montgomery v. Louisiana. Since 2016, the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth has collected individual-level data for every person in the United States convicted of life without parole for a crime committed under the age of 18. This data is collected and updated using information from state partner organizations, state departments of corrections, and outreach from those serving these sentences and their families.