An excellent post at Simple Justice today in response to the New York Times editorial on Juvenile LWOP has sparked a lively dialogue that includes a former California Corrections Officer, now blogger, PacoVilla.
This is PacoVilla’s profile:
My name is Jeff Doyle. I am a former California Correctional Officer, past rank-and-file vice president of CCPOA, current Member of the Board of the LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE OF AMERICA and currently a state parole agent pending retirement. Since the blog’s inception, I have posted using the pseudonym “pacovilla.”
I am grateful to find Jeff’s blog, because I think those who work within the corrections system are a crucial component to this discussion. My intent in becoming part of this discussion is to understand all sides of this story. This is one side that we very rarely get any insight into.
This can’t be an “us” versus “them” discussion. “We” have to honestly address the issue of how we treat our juvenile violent offenders as a community. “We” have to decide how to balance punishment, consideration for victims, risk to the community, treatment and rehabilitation for the offenders and the simple human concept of recognizing that juveniles don’t physiologically have the capacity to recognize the consequences of their actions at the time of their crimes, because they are not adults. We have to decide whether we want to be the only nation on earth that habitually throws its juveniles away. We have to decide whether juveniles too young to vote, go to war, buy a beer or sometimes even drive a car are worthy of the consideration of redemption after having been punished in a humane way and with help to mature and change.
Discussion is good.
Note: There is another spirited discussion regarding the same piece here at Sentencing and Policy.