IF YOU WERE to judge by our incarceration rates, you'd think Pennsylvania has the most dangerous young offenders on earth. There is nowhere else on earth but Pennsylvania where offenders as young as 10 are likely to be warehoused for the rest of their lives. We are a state that certifies juveniles as young as 10 years old for adult trial on homicide and major felonies.
Pennsylvania also is one of the few states in the United States where there is no parole from a life sentence. That may make sense for adults. But when we lock up children as young as 10, we shouldn't just throw away the key. With 444 people doing life in Pennsylvania prisons for crimes committed when they were juveniles, the waste of human potential alone should cause us to re-examine this potentially wasteful policy.