Sentenced to Life Without Parole As a Juvenile: Donald Scott | Age 61

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Richard Ross

Donald Scott | Age 61

“They can keep my body locked up, but my soul and mind are always on the other side.”

For more than a decade I have interviewed more than 1,000 kids in 35 states. What of these kids who were sentenced to long sentences and JLWOP, life sentences without parole? These kids become adults who become geriatric. These are the people I have interviewed for the past year.

These are their stories. There are more than 2,000 people — juveniles serving life without parole all over the country. These are some of their voices. These are their faces.

This is a series by Richard Ross that ran every other Thursday for 10 weeks. This is the final one.

3 thoughts on “Sentenced to Life Without Parole As a Juvenile: Donald Scott | Age 61

  1. We are so often trapped in a circle of failure regarding children because of the words we use to define the nature of the problem and the solutions to which these words are linked. Terms like Juvenile Justice (problem is in the young people and solution is in the legal system) and Juvenile Delinquency (problem is in the young people and their ‘bad behavior’ – solution is in changing individual young people’s behavior). Both of these terms prevent us, or turn our gaze away from the real problem. A child centered perspective lets us see that the problem resides in adults and the worlds they create for children. If we understand children’s rights and adult obligations toward children implied in these rights and we understand Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) we can see we should be trying to understand why and how adults fail to fulfill their obligations to children and how we can create better worlds for children who become adults, who become geriatrics. If we did this the lives described in these stories would have taken a very different path!

    • Lucien–I absolutely love everything that you have said here, and kindly ask permission to use this quote when presenting ACEs and their impact on exploited and trafficked youth!!