Global Voices examines The Fair Sentencing for Youth Act
In California, youth as young as 14 years old are sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. It is, in essence, a sentence to die in prison. Senate Bill 399 provides review of these cases after a youth offender (someone below the age of 18 at the time of the offense) has served a substantial amount of time in prison. It is an important piece of legislation because it protects public safety while at the same time recognizing that youth are different from adults. SB 399 holds youth accountable but also provides a chance for young offenders to prove they have changed.