Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Pat Nolan, president of Prison Fellowship and former Republican head of the California Assembly, have voiced their support for California’s Senate Bill 260 in an op-ed in the Fresno (California) Bee newspaper.

SB260 would provide for opportunities for parole consideration for people convicted of crimes as children who have since served several years in prison, demonstrated they have changed and fulfilled other requirements.

Gingrich and Nolan note the developmental differences that make children less culpable than adults and write, “Allowing young offenders to apply for review hearings will provide an incentive to take responsibility and express remorse for their actions, and encourage them to become self-sufficient, taxpaying and law-abiding members of society.”

Gingrich and Nolan also wrote an editorial in support of SB9  when it was being considered in 2012. Under SB9, most people sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for crimes committed as children may request new sentencing hearings.

Gingrich and Nolan are part of a growing number of voices across the political spectrum who are calling for broad reforms in the ways that we hold young people accountable.

To help with the efforts in California, go to www.fairsentencingforyouth.org.

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Gingrich, Nolan: Young offenders can regain public’s trust