Over two million children are arrested each year in the United States, many of them sent to prison for years. A lucky number of those children in Pennsylvania get Marsha Levick as their attorney, including a girl in Luzerne County whose overly harsh sentence unraveled a corrupt juvenile court system that sent hundreds of children to detention centers unfairly. Last year, she led a team that won a Supreme Court ruling in favor of allowing children who had been sentenced to life in prison to gain the possibility of parole. Levick does the hard, and hard-to-bear, work that many of us would rather not face. For her decades of work for children and women, Levick was just named the 2015 recipient of the Philadelphia Award, the city’s highest civic honor.
Below, watch Levick’s 2015 TEDx talk, a necessary look at American justice.
Photo header: Juvenile Law Center