Juvenile prisoners focus of documentary, panel

The Justice Center for Research at Penn State will host a showing of the documentary "Lost for Life," which focuses on juveniles receiving life without parole prison sentences, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 2, in 113 Carnegie Building, University Park campus. The documentary filmmaker Joshua Rofé will take part in a panel discussion following the presentation. The event is free and open to the public.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the practice of life without parole for juveniles constituted “cruel and unusual punishment.”  However, Pennsylvania is not retroactively enforcing this ruling for the adults who were sentenced as juveniles many years ago. Pennsylvania has more juvenile lifers than any other state, making this a highly relevant issue for student and community discussion. The documentary "Lost for Life" is appearing in film festivals and receiving very favorable reviews since its debut at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC this past summer.

A panel discussion will focus on the relevance, ethical/moral conflicts, and policy implications of this timely issue. Speakers will be Judge Timothy Searer, former president judge, 58th Judicial District of Pennsylvania; Michael Burroughs, assistant director, The Rock Ethics Institute; Michaela Soyer, postdoctoral scholar, The Justice Center for Research; and filmmaker Rofé.

The event is co-sponsored by: The Justice Center for Research, The Rock Ethics Institute, The Department of Film-Video and Media Studies, The Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, and the Department of Sociology and Criminology.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated March 31, 2014