Nineteen-year-old Ashley Smith died by her own hand in 2007 in a women’s correctional facility in Ontario, Canada. The subject of the coroner’s inquest into her death was her carceral experience and the failure of the system (leading to her death) during her time in adult federal corrections. The general focus of the inquest was on the state of federal women’s corrections in Canada and the mental health issues experienced by many incarcerated women. We produced a report and provided expert testimony at the inquest regarding the need for a developmentally informed correctional framework. In this article, which is based on our inquest report and testimony, we argue that a developmental perspective is a vital lens for understanding the incarceration experience of young women.