That stands for Life Without Parole -- draconian sentences handed down on children who are tried as adults. Once sent to adult prison, they will NEVER be eligible for release on parole.
Who are they? Well, take Sara Kruzan. Growing up in abusive surroundings, she was raped at age thirteen by a man who then turned her out as a prostitute. Where was society then? Where was the help she needed? But three years later when she killed him, the system was quick to condemn her. Today, Sara Kruzan is in prison at Chowchilla and unless the law is changed--and made retroactive--she'll never be free.
With Hector Aristizábal's nonprofit, ImaginAction, I'm working with the Youth Justice Coalition to create theatre we can perform on the streets of LA to let people know what LWOP means and what it's doing to kids.
250 young people are doomed to die in prison in California, more than 2500 in the US. No other country in the world permits this sentence.
Here in California, State Senator Leland Yee has introduced legislation to end the practice. Unable to get it passed, he keeps watering it down and watering it down. Will it finally pass?
We all have to let our representatives know we won't consider them soft on crime if they use their heads and hearts and make State policy a rational one.