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Juvenile justice


There has been a troubling shift in the nation’s responses to at-risk youth over the past 25 years. The creators of the juvenile justice system originally viewed it as a system for providing prevention, protection, and redirection to youth, but it is more common for juveniles today to experience tough sanctions and adult-type punishments instead. While reforms are underway in many places, there remains an urgent need to reframe our responses to juvenile delinquency.

Juveniles Held in Adults Prisons and Jails

Juvenile Justice News
July 10, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Shadow Report of The Sentencing Project to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Along with 11 allied civil rights and justice reform organizations, The Sentencing Project submitted a shadow report regarding racial disparities in the justice system to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). Our report documents continuing disparities in incarceration, the imposition of juvenile life without parole, the death penalty, and felony disenfranchisement. The review of United States’ compliance with the CERD convention will take place in August.


June 25, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
New Publication: State Responses to 2012 Supreme Court Mandate on Life Without Parole

On June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court struck down laws in 28 states that mandated life without parole (LWOP) for some juvenile offenders. In the wake of Miller v. Alabama, a majority of these states have not passed new laws to address fair sentencing; others have replaced LWOP with mandatory decades-long sentences that dodge the intent of the decision. Slow to Act: State Responses to the 2012 Supreme Court Mandate on Life without Parole is an update on how legislatures and courts in those 28 states and elsewhere have responded.


June 16, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Race & Justice News

Immigration: Tulsa Police: Local Immigration Enforcement Harms Public Safety

County Sheriffs End Immigration Detention, Fearing Liability

Public Opinion: Racial Divide in Perceptions of Washington State's Justice System

Books: Get a Job by Robert D. Crutchfield

On the Run by Alice Goffman

Juvenile Justice: Comprehensive Report on Improving School Discipline

Foundations Build on My Brother's Keeper Initiative


June 2, 2014 (The Boston Globe)
Convicted as teen, inmate shouldn’t have had to wait decades to be heard

A letter to the editor from The Sentencing Project's State Advocacy Associate, Joshua Rovner:

IN THE May 26 editorial “After 2 decades, teen offender deserves a chance for parole,” the Globe highlighted the case of Joseph Donovan, still imprisoned for his role in a 1992 crime. Donovan was just 17 when he senselessly punched Yngve Raustein; a 15-year old accomplice then stabbed and killed Raustein, who had fallen to the ground.

Under a pair of misguided laws, Massachusetts had no choice but to sentence Donovan to a mandatory term of life without parole. Though 17, he was sentenced as if he were an adult. Though he did not kill Raustein, he was convicted of felony murder.


May 19, 2014
The Sentencing Project Releases its 2013 Annual Report

The Sentencing Project is pleased to announce the release of its 2013 Annual report which provides a comprehensive overview of activities over the past year.