Parents should be consistent, punishing kids immediately, predictably and fairly when they misbehave. The same logic, some believe, should guide our criminal justice system. The problem with the way probation and parole violations are addressed – according to Bret Bucklen, director of research at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections – is that authorities act like lousy parents.
Of the 2,000 juveniles serving life sentences around the United States, 500 come from Pennsylvania and 300 come directly from here. That means the city has produced 15 percent of the country’s so-called “juvenile-lifers.” The Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project (YSRP) is working to change that.
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