"Pennsylvania has more than 400 inmates sentenced as juveniles to life without parole, a number more than in any other state. Why? In 1979 a referendum requiring a unanimous decision rather than a majority of the five members of the Parole Board increased the life-without-parole population. This ruling has resulted in some nonviolent inmates incarcerated for decades at a cost of millions.
It also dismisses the scientific facts shown by high tech brain scans (PET) that the pre-frontal area of the brain responsible for judgment, decision making and control of impulses is not fully developed until the mid-20s. Studies show that the majority of violent youth grow out of anti-social behavior upon maturing.” (via.)
There’s more…. “In contrast, New York’s inmate population has decreased by 13 percent. New York officials are considering closing one or more prisons. This is attributed to alternative sentencing, intensive drug treatment, and mental health programs.”