Informed by MacArthur-supported research, the American Bar Association (ABA) has adopted a policy calling for less punitive sentencing of juvenile offenders, including life without parole. The policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s argument against the death penalty for juveniles in Roper v. Simmons, which was influenced by the work of Foundation grantees. The ABA policy calls for the authorization and implementation of sentencing laws that are less punitive for juveniles than adults and that acknowledge the mitigating considerations of the offender’s youthful status. The organization also recommends that juveniles should be eligible for parole or early release at a reasonable point in their sentence. The ABA cited recent work by the MacArthur Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice and a 2002 Foundation-supported report, Youth in the Criminal Justice System.

Juvenile Justice, Justice, Youth