The juvenile justice system has changed dramatically since its inception in this country. From a system that sought to protect and rehabilitate, to one that sought to punish and incarcerate, it is now refocusing on treatment and redirection. Here, Nellis delivers a history of the system and calls for more reforms to reflect current realities.
Ashley Nellis, PhD, is a Senior Research Analyst with The Sentencing Project. She has an academic and professional background in analyzing criminal justice policies and practice, and has extensive experience in analyzing disparities among youth of color in the juvenile justice system. She leads The Sentencing Project's research and legislative activities in juvenile justice reform and serves on several youth-serving coalitions. She regularly delivers testimony, authors articles, and conducts research. She is frequently interviewed by the media on a variety of juvenile justice-related topics. Nellis is actively engaged in federal and state efforts to eliminate life without parole sentences for juveniles and to reconsider lengthy sentences for all prisoners.