The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 1381 today, which YSRP hopes will usher in a more humane era of support and care for youth involved in the criminal legal system.
Reporter Katie Rose Quandt takes a wide-angle view of how, in the years since the 2016 Montgomery v. Louisiana US Supreme Court decision, and the series of decisions preceding it, resentencing opportunities have or have not been made available for individuals serving now-unconstitutional juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentences. The article reveals the incongruous nature in which states have responded to the Court’s ruling by either providing meaningful opportunities for release from prison, or denying these opportunities either outright or by default.
YSRP’s Co-Director, Joanna Visser Adjoian, and Reentry Coordinator, John Pace, were interviewed for the story. In it, YSRP’s support for former Juvenile Lifers in Philadelphia is highlighted in a city that has welcomed home more than 70% of the 521 individuals statewide who had been serving JLWOP sentences.
Mr. Pace, himself a former Juvenile Lifer, speaks about the determination of the community of former Juvenile Lifers on the outside:
‘Why are people being successful and … not going back [to prison]?’ asks YSRP Reentry Coordinator John Pace, who was resentenced from JLWOP and released in 2017. ’It’s about the resiliency of the individual, being appreciative of the opportunity and taking advantage of it.’