This report was written and researched by Christine Back, Roland Algrant Fellow in the Children’s Rights Division, and Elizabeth Calvin, children’s rights advocate, Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. Alison Parker, deputy director of the US Division of Human Rights Watch, provided research and analysis on, among other things, racial disproportionality. Ruchika Budhraja, an intern with Human Rights Watch in Los Angeles, provided substantial help in research and other support for the report. Kennji Kizuka, associate for Children’s Rights Division provided significant research, administrative, and other help.

We thank all the individuals serving life without parole and their families who shared their experiences for this report. We also thank the family members of victims who shared their experiences and opinions with us. We are grateful for their willingness to discuss what were often deeply personal and painful matters.

We are grateful for the work of many volunteers on this report. They include the members of the Human Rights Watch Young Advocate groups in Los Angeles and San Francisco: Consuelo Amat, Yvonne Apollonino, David Attanasio, Sarah Bell, Cal Blake, Edward Cervantes, Heather Cooper, Deidre Crawford, Tanya Fisher,

Sarah Fretwell, Samantha Hammer, Lee Anne Hasselbacher, Elizabeth Holder, Linda Hoos, Azin Jalali, Kiana Kaveh, Evan Killeen, Julian Lee, Emily Mangone, Amy Marczewski, Shannon Murphy, Louisa Okonyan, Kendra Oleckna, Ava Sadripour, Robin Savinar, Margo Schubert, Majida Shehadeh, Jango Sircus, Pablo Soledad, Sean Tanner, Amanda Toubali, Emily Trono, Phoebe Liu, Sheridan Saltus, Anne Toole, and Sharon Wegner.

In addition, Patricia Arthur, National Center for Youth Law; Cynthia Buiza; Steve Churchwell, and the San Francisco law offices of DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary; Heather Cooper, and the law offices of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton; Edward Dailo, intern in the Los Angeles Human Rights Watch office; Madeline Gressel, intern in the US Program; Sushmita Meka, intern in the Los Angeles Human Rights Watch office; Deborah Ramo; Clifford Rosky and the San Francisco law offices of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Michael Small and the Los Angeles law offices of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; Wendy Smith Meyer; Bill Temko and the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson; Christine Talbo and Christina Yang, interns in the Los Angeles Human Rights Watch office; and Karen Wong and the Los Angeles office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy; all volunteered time, legal research, office space and a myriad of skills toward this effort.

We offer special gratitude to Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins for her insight on victims’ issues.

The California Human Rights Watch staff, including Camille Joseph, Hava Manasse, Libby Marsh, Caitlin McAdam, and Tiffany Siart, provided invaluable help.

Zama Coursen-Neff, deputy director, Children’s Rights Division; Elizabeth Marsh, director, California Committee North of Human Rights Watch; Alison Parker, deputy director, US Program of Human Rights Watch; and Lois Whitman, director, Children’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch edited the report. Clive Baldwin, senior legal advisor, and Andrew Mawson, deputy program director of Human Rights Watch, provided legal and program review.

Pat Arthur, senior attorney at the National Center for Youth Law; Dr. Elizabeth Cauffman, professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine; Jonathan Laba, deputy director of the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center; Brian Root, Berkeley-Tulane Initiative on Vulnerable Populations’ Fellow; and Cyn Yamashiro, director, Center for Juvenile Law and Policy also reviewed and commented on the manuscript.

Production assistance was provided by Kennji Kizuka, associate in the Children’s Rights Division; Anna Lopriore, creative manager; Andrea Holley, publications director; Grace Choi, publications specialist; and Fitzroy Hepkins, mail manager.