Six inmates sat in the visiting room of California’s Corcoran State Prison, and each one held a piece of paper. The information in their hands was basic enough; it’s what anyone could find out about them on the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website. But for these inmates meeting in September, the sheets contained something new. Sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOP) as juveniles, they grew up behind bars and expected to die behind bars. But now where once was written “LWOP,” there was a parole-hearing date. All of them would have a chance for release.

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