Last night, I went to a small Human Rights Watch event (check them out if you are looking to help out a good cause – they are truly working to make the world a better place). Here’s a saddening statistic that someone mentioned: Apparently there are 12 documented cases of children serving life prison sentences without the possibility of parole outside the United States. Inside the US, there are over 2,000 such cases.
2 replies on “Sad statistic”
Which part of that is sad, the fact that there's so many children committing crimes or the severity of the punishment?
Primarily the severity of the punishment. In the rush of politicians to be tough on crime, the US is putting more and more children behind adult prison bars. In some states kids as young as 10 years old are tried as adults and receive adult prison sentences despite the fact that in other civil matters they are treated differently according to their maturity level (they can't marry, vote, sign contracts, buy cigarettes, etc, but when it comes to committing a crime they are supposedly displaying adult judgment).
True Notebooks: A Writer's Year at Juvenile Hall is an incredible book about the topic.