In this article in USA Today, Annette Fuentes says:
“It’s time to ease the too-tough, and ill-conceived, sentencing of juveniles.
Vengeance and harsh retribution have been the guiding principles in our treatment of youth in the criminal justice system since the crack-cocaine tinged crime wave of the late 1980s crested and then fell in the mid-1990s. States got tough with laws that allowed the prosecution of juveniles as adults in certain felony crimes, as well as the sentencing of youth convicted of murder-related crimes to life without the chance of parole.
Now a downturn in violent juvenile crime, coupled with more data on the development of the adolescent brain, are prompting some states to rethink whether the harsh punishments still fit the crimes.”