Report Record Number Of Lifers In Us Prisons

07.27.09 | FL News Team

Judges getting tougher on crime and limits on parole have led to a record number of people serving life sentences in U.S. prisons. A study by the Sentencing Project reveals nearly 142,000 people are currently serving life sentences in federal and state prisons, with 6,600 of those being juveniles. California has the highest rate of lifers at 20-percent.

The report found that the rise in juvenile lifers could be blamed on a 2005 Supreme Court ruling that banned juveniles from being executed. The study shows that 29-percent of lifers have no chance at parole. It also found 66-percent of all individuals with life terms and 77-percent of the juveniles are non-white.

Founded in 1986, the Sentencing Project is a national organization works to promote reforms in criminal sentencing law and practice, and explores alternatives to prison.