Juvenile Justice Advocates International urgently calls on the Minnesota State Legislature to adopt the Minnesota Juvenile Sentencing Reform Act (HF 1300/SF 1325) and for the Governor to sign the bill to end juvenile life without the possibility of parole in the state.
The United States is the only country in the world where jurisdictions still sentence children to life without the possibility of parole – condemning those convicted of crimes committed when they were children to die in prison without ever giving them a second look. Not only that, but Minnesota is one of only 23 states that still allows this practice within the United States.
Sentencing children to life without the possibility of parole is torture. Condemning children to die in prison has been widely condemned internationally for decades. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights both prohibit the practice. The former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Méndez, said that, “life sentences or sentences of an extreme length have a disproportionate impact on children and cause physical and psychological harm that amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.”
This is why Juvenile Justice Advocates International [JJAI] calls on the Minnesota State Legislature to pass the Minnesota
Juvenile Sentencing Reform Act (HF 1300/SF 1325) and for Governor Tim Walz to sign the bill.
“Children should be treated differently because they are different from adults,” commented Douglas Keillor, JJAI’s Founder and Executive Director. “This is a grave violation of human rights standards, and I hope my home state will finally act to end the practice of sentencing children to die in prison,” he added.
About Juvenile Justice Advocates International:
Juvenile Justice Advocates International is an internationally-recognized leader in juvenile justice system reforms that improve respect for human rights of children in conflict with the law. JJAI’s vision is that children should only be imprisoned as a last resort, in extreme circumstances, and for the shortest period of time possible. JJAI was founded in 2013 as a Minnesota 501(c)(3) with offices in Mexico City and St. Paul, Minnesota. For inquiries contact