Professor Simon Singer and former doctoral student Stuti Kokkalera published a new peer-reviewed article in the British Journal of Criminology that is now available online. The article is called “Now with the Possibility of Parole: Enabling a Juvenile Lifer’s Meaningful Review.”
The article’s abstract notes: Parole is one of the least visible decision-making processes in the criminal justice system. We consider decision statements that support or reject release as symbolic of organizational concerns beyond the candidate’s individual attributes. To draw out the symbolic, we focus on decision statements issued to 33 juvenile lifers previously ineligible for parole. We find that what is meaningful to a parole board is highly selective, and there is no generalized presumption of mitigated culpability and capacity for rehabilitation. Rather release is justified based on childhood abuse, peer dependency and a redemptive self. In contrast, denying narratives selectively highlight the seriousness of the sentencing offence by focusing on the ‘horrific,’ and the retributive requirement for more time to be served.
Congratulations to Professor Singer and Stuti!