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Critics Charge U.S. Practice of Sentencing Youth to Life in Prison Without Parole is Inhum

Critics Charge U.S. Practice of Sentencing Youth to Life in Prison Without Parole is Inhumane

Interview with Ashley Nellis, senior researcher at the Sentencing Project, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Critics Charge U.S. Practice of Sentencing Youth to Life in Prison Without Parole is Inhumane

Interview with Ashley Nellis, senior researcher at the Sentencing Project, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Among the more than 2.1 million Americans behind bars, more than 2,000 were convicted and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for crimes committed when they were under the age of 18. Some, but not all of these juveniles begin serving their sentences in youth facilities, but they will eventually be transferred to adult prisons. They are entitled to additional services because of their age, but often are treated the same as adults. These young prisoners face the additional risk of exploitation and rape.

Studies indicate a pronounced racial disparity for youths receiving harsh sentences. African Americans have been found to be over-represented in the juvenile, life without parole population in nearly every state.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Ashley Nellis, senior researcher at the Sentencing Project, who recently completed a survey of juveniles held around the country who have been sentenced to life without parole. She describes some of the conditions these inmates encounter inside prisons -- and explains how some youth receive harsh sentences even when they are convicted of being accessories to murder.

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:  http://www.btlonline.org
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