A Majority of Voters Support An End to Extreme Sentences for Children

The Justice Collaborative Institute & Data for Progress & Fair and Just Prosecution

Executive Summary

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country and around the world have taken to the streets to demand an end to police violence and racism in the criminal legal system, moved by the devastating murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and many others, as well as a broader pattern of racial injustice. Now, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges must take immediate and long-overdue steps to address the systemic racism woven through the criminal legal system, including through the imposition of life-without-parole and decades-long sentences for young people.

Extreme sentences have contributed to the United States being the number one incarcerator in the world—disparately impacting and devastating communities of color—and juvenile life-without-parole sentences are among the most draconian ongoing practices in our country. These sentences essentially abandon young people to die in prison, despite the fact that children have great potential for rehabilitation and are deserving of second chances.

A Majority of Voters Support An End to Extreme Sentences for Children
A Majority of Voters Support An End to Extreme Sentences for Children