Across two years, Human Rights Watch has corresponded with some 330 youth offenders serving life without parole sentences in U.S. prisons. Though most are now adults, we discovered that their identity as child offenders (below the age of 18 when their crimes were committed) was lost just as soon as they stood trial and entered adult prison. These photos reveal what has been long hidden. Each photo depicts the youth within one year of the age he or she was when the crime was committed. Each youth is identified with a pseudonym.

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All photos: © 2005 Private