Fair Sentencing for Youth



Adolescent Development

Young people are different than adults.

Recent findings in neuroscience confirm what many parents and teachers have long known: brain maturation is a process that continues through adolescence and into early adulthood. Impulse control, planning, and thinking ahead are skills still in development well beyond age 18. In addition, there is widespread agreement among child development researchers that young people who commit crimes are more likely to reform their behavior and have a better chance at rehabilitation than adults. This Issue Brief provides an introduction to how adolescent development is relevant to teen-aged criminal behavior:

Less Guilty by Reason of Adolescence (PDF)