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To end mass incarceration we must address life sentences.

A record one of every seven people in prison is serving a life sentence. While most have committed a violent offense, research finds that people age out of criminal behavior — including violent behavior-producing diminishing returns for public safety.

The long-term financial and moral costs of life imprisonment also burden communities by diverting vital resources from crime prevention and social intervention programs.

This country needs crime policy rooted in research and mercy. It’s time to end life imprisonment.