Risk Assessment: Should Youth Be a Factor in Judging ‘Dangerousness’?

Pennsylvania’s Commission on Sentencing is weighing whether to use an offender’s age in determining the likelihood of committing a new crime, for a risk assessment tool due this summer. That flies in the face of recent juvenile justice reforms, such as Supreme Court rulings accepting that adolescents have diminished responsibility, warns a Pennsylvania attorney.

How Race Distorts Risk Assessment for Minority Youth

Tools used by courts to judge whether an individual will re-offend rarely address the specific interaction of race and criminogenic risk, writes a University of Cincinnati researcher. She found that young African Americans have been especially shortchanged.

sex offender

Is a Registry for Juvenile Sex Offenders a Form of ‘Child Abuse’?

Thomas Arrowhead, now 38, was found guilty of a sodomy charge when he was 12 years old. But because he committed the offense before a 2014 Oregon law that allowed judges discretion in requiring juveniles to register as sex offenders, he will likely have to live with the label for the rest of his life.


The ‘Womb-to-Prison Pipeline’

Justice reformers focus on preventing schools from employing disciplinary approaches that send troubled youths into the justice system. But a Washington State inmate argues that for many young black males, the so-called school-to-prison pipeline begins a lot earlier.

women's prison

The Juvenile Lifers Who are Stuck in Limbo

Of the more than 2,600 juvenile lifers serving time in 2016, following a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings limiting life-without-parole sentences, only about 400 have been freed. The court gave states leeway to decide how to review sentences, leading to inconsistencies.