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Miller's Children: Why Giving Teenage Killers a Second Chance Matters for All of Us

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Miller’s Children is a passionate and comprehensive look at the human consequences of the US Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Miller v. Alabama, which outlaws mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile murderers. The decision to apply the law retroactively to other cases has provided hope to those convicted of murders as teenagers and had been incarcerated Miller’s Children is a passionate and comprehensive look at the human consequences of the US Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Miller v. Alabama, which outlaws mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile murderers. The decision to apply the law retroactively to other cases has provided hope to those convicted of murders as teenagers and had been incarcerated with the expectation that they would never leave prison until their own death as incarcerated adults.    Psychological expert witness James Garbarino shares his fieldwork in more than forty resentencing cases of juveniles affected by the Miller decision. Providing a wide-ranging review of current research on human development in adolescence and early adulthood, he shows how studies reveal the adolescent mind’s keen ability for malleability, suggesting the true potential for rehabilitation.   Garbarino focuses on how and why some convicted teenage murderers have been able to accomplish dramatic rehabilitation and transformation, emphasizing the role of education, reflection, mentoring, and spiritual development. With a deft hand, he shows us the prisoners’ world that is filled, first and foremost, with stories of hope amid despair, and moral and psychological recovery in the face of developmental insult and damage. 


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Miller’s Children is a passionate and comprehensive look at the human consequences of the US Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Miller v. Alabama, which outlaws mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile murderers. The decision to apply the law retroactively to other cases has provided hope to those convicted of murders as teenagers and had been incarcerated Miller’s Children is a passionate and comprehensive look at the human consequences of the US Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Miller v. Alabama, which outlaws mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juvenile murderers. The decision to apply the law retroactively to other cases has provided hope to those convicted of murders as teenagers and had been incarcerated with the expectation that they would never leave prison until their own death as incarcerated adults.    Psychological expert witness James Garbarino shares his fieldwork in more than forty resentencing cases of juveniles affected by the Miller decision. Providing a wide-ranging review of current research on human development in adolescence and early adulthood, he shows how studies reveal the adolescent mind’s keen ability for malleability, suggesting the true potential for rehabilitation.   Garbarino focuses on how and why some convicted teenage murderers have been able to accomplish dramatic rehabilitation and transformation, emphasizing the role of education, reflection, mentoring, and spiritual development. With a deft hand, he shows us the prisoners’ world that is filled, first and foremost, with stories of hope amid despair, and moral and psychological recovery in the face of developmental insult and damage. 

36 review for Miller's Children: Why Giving Teenage Killers a Second Chance Matters for All of Us

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abby Suzanne

    I'm a big fan of James Garbarino. I've read quite a bit of his stuff and always find his books to be readable, compelling and well-reasoned. Miller's children is no exception- the book talks about the Supreme Court ruling eliminating life without parole as a sentencing option for individuals who were 17 years and younger at the time of the offense. The ruling applied retroactively, meaning everyone who was incarcerated with a life sentence without parole who committed their offense as a legal ch I'm a big fan of James Garbarino. I've read quite a bit of his stuff and always find his books to be readable, compelling and well-reasoned. Miller's children is no exception- the book talks about the Supreme Court ruling eliminating life without parole as a sentencing option for individuals who were 17 years and younger at the time of the offense. The ruling applied retroactively, meaning everyone who was incarcerated with a life sentence without parole who committed their offense as a legal child needs re-sentencing. In Miller, Garbarino discusses the unique psychological and developmental nature of adolescence, and discusses how this both compromises adolescent judgment and enhances adaptability, indicating teenage "killers" may be uniquely amenable to rehabilitation (primarily because they will likely mature beyond the poor judgment associated with their adolescent decisions and, with proper treatment, their trauma exposures can also be addressed). I enjoy that Garbarino tackles the toughest topics- it's easier to say you endorse rehabilitation and de-incarceration for a 13 year old who robbed a store without a gun; it's harder to say you endorse rehabilitation and release for a teenager who murdered many people. Garbarino integrates science, theory and religion to make his case, and does not shy away from the moral consequences associated with embracing relief for teenagers who commit murder. It's an interesting, quick read, and I definitely recommend.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather Silliman gablaski

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    Stephanie Paul

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    Tara Fambrough

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    Vanessa Centelles

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    Opoku Prince

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    Mandy Molteni

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    Inventory

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    Carrie

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    michelle

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