By Shafaq Hasan
October 23, 2014
According to the Equal Justice Initiative, nearly 10,000 children across the country have been sentenced as adults and are serving time in adult prisons. Pennsylvania, which has the highest number of incarcerated children serving life sentences and no minimum age to try a child as an adult, is now also home to the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project (YSRP), a new nonprofit dedicated to aiding Philadelphia’s children who have been prosecuted and are carrying out their sentences in the adult criminal justice system. The nonprofit was founded over the summer and has been steadily gaining traction and support over the last few months.
Founded by attorneys Lauren Fine and Joanna Visser Adjoian, the nonprofit’s aim is to change the criminal justice system’s approach to sentencing children through equipping their defense attorneys with the support they need at the trial and sentencing phase, specifically research surrounding child brain development and applicable Supreme Court precedents, according to their article in the Legal Intelligencer.