Juvenile Justice – Parole and Solitary Confinement

There were two major developments in juvenile justice yesterday. The United States Supreme Court, decided that its earlier opinion which outlawed juvenile life sentences of imprisonment without the opportunity of parole would be applied retroactively.[1] Offenders who were minors at the time of their crimes, even if they occurred decades ago, may now seek parole. How this ruling will be implemented in Pennsylvania has yet to be determined, and is likely to be played out in the courts and legislature in the coming months and years.

Additionally, President Obama yesterday announced that he has accepted the recommendations of the Justice Department, and has ordered that federal prisons cease the use of solitary confinement for inmates under the age of eighteen, noting that the restrictive punishment has been overused, with “heartbreaking results” with the potential for “devastating psychological consequences”.

Most minors accused of a crime do not face life in prison or terms in the federal penitentiary. However, consequences of a juvenile delinquency adjudication can last well into adulthood and include loss of driver’s license, difficulty in obtaining employment or student loans, and even being denied entry into the military. An experienced attorney may be able to help your child avoid these harsh consequences. The defense lawyers at the Mazza Law Group have experience representing juveniles in court at delinquency hearings, detention hearings, disposition hearings, probation review hearings, and in petitioning for expungement of juvenile records. Call our office today, we can help!

[1] In Montgomery v. Lousiana, the Supreme Court decided that its earlier opinion in Miller v. Alabama would apply retroactively.

Juvenile Justice – Parole and Solitary Confinement was last modified: February 2nd, 2016 by Helen Stolinas