In the space of just one week, two Wisconsin teenagers were sentenced to life in prison for two separate murders. Both 16-year-old Eric Hainstock and 17-year-old Brendan Dassey will likely spend most of the rest of their lives behind bars.
However, some may question if they're too young to spend a life term with hardened criminals. Kathy Nagle assesses inmates for the Dodge Correctional Facility in Waupun. She says many people believe those under the age of 18 are vulnerable and would have a hard time defending themselves. Nagle says that's not always the case though. Yet, Nagle says all inmates are assessed as individuals based on a list of considerations, that include their mental health, educational level and life experiences.
There are currently 45 inmates under the age of 17 in adult prisons in Wisconsin. Last week, Brendan Dassey was given a parole eligibility date of 2048 for killing Theresa Halbach. Eric Hainstock could be freed in 30 years for murdering Principal John Klang. He'll begin his sentence at a facility for youth offenders.