Entries by John Winslow

Jacqueline Sparks: Don't throw away key on young

As it stands, children and adolescents under age 18 in the state of Rhode Island can be sentenced to life without parole. This defies both common sense and science. It is well known that the brains of children and adolescents are not fully developed. Specifically, the pre-frontal cortex, that portion of the brain responsible for […]

60 Organizations Pen Open Letter to NY Governor and Legislature: Raise the Age Now

(June 15, 2015) In an open letter to be hand-delivered to Albany today, sixty state-wide and national organizations including international human rights groups, social workers, faith-based organizations and children’s advocates, strongly urged the passage of Raise the Age legislation before the session ends this week. Currently, New York remains one of only two states that […]

Paroled After Life Sentence For Juvenile Crime, Joe Donovan Works Towards His Release

BRIDGEWATER, MASS. Around the country, states are beginning to release people from prison who thought they would be there for life. Following a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision that it’s unconstitutional for juveniles convicted of murder to automatically be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, some 2,500 cases across the country must be reviewed. Here […]

Kalief Browder, 1993–2015

Last fall, I wrote about a young man named Kalief Browder, who spent three years on Rikers Island without being convicted of a crime. He had been arrested in the spring of 2010, at age sixteen, for a robbery he insisted he had not committed. Then he spent more than one thousand days on Rikers waiting […]

Watchdog: Advocate James Dold

There’s hypocrisy in the U.S. criminal justice system. If an adult has sex with a child, the child is a victim. But if that same child accepts money for sex, the child is, in many states, a criminal. James Dold, ’06 BA Criminal Justice and Psychology, can’t let that injustice go unchallenged. “It’s a conflict […]

Juvenile Killer Barry Massey To Be Released in 2016

Barry Massey was the youngest person sentenced to life in prison without parole in the United States. Now he will go free. That decision was announced Thursday by Washington’s Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board. In 1987, Massey and an older accomplice stabbed and shot to death Steilacoom Marina owner Paul Wang. Massey was just 13 at […]

Bringing Back Pell for Prisoners

The U.S. Department of Education is poised to announce a limited exemption to the federal ban on prisoners receiving Pell Grants to attend college while they are incarcerated. Correctional education experts and other sources said they expect the department to issue a waiver under the experimental sites program, which allows the feds to lift certain […]

OP-ED: Looking Back on Five Years of Hope from the Graham Decision

Arrested in 1991 at age 17, my oldest son Ralph was the youngest person swept up in a Florida drug ring led by adults. His unfathomable fate was three life-without-parole sentences. For almost 22 years, he endured numerous denied appeals, and his situation appeared hopeless. During that time, it was impossible for me to fully […]