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California’s Welfare and Institutions Code section 236 (WIC 236) grants probation departments across the state the authority to intervene in the lives of any young person, including those who have not been accused of violating the law. Law enforcement officials believe that this practice deters youth delinquency. However, community organizations and a growing body of research are beginning to question whether this practice is doing more harm than good.
In “WIC 236 - ‘Pre-Probation’ Supervision of Youth of Color With No Prior Court or Probation Involvement,” researchers from Children’s Defense Fund-California, Youth Justice Coalition, Urban Peace Institute and Anti-Recidivism Coalition examine this contraversal statute, ultimately arguing that law enforcement’s work with low-risk youth is ineffective and can lead to increased involvement with the court, detention and incarceration systems. Instead, the report recommends shifting resources away from law enforcement entities towards education and community-based interventions that more appropriately serve youths’ needs.
LBUSD is the third largest school district in California - with an annual budget of over $1 billion and a diverse group of almost 78,000 students. From 2011 to 2015, suspensions decreased by 41 percent in California schools, and by 53 percent in LBUSD. This good news begs the question - what are schools doing differently to account for the decline in suspensions? Are a greater number of students ultimately accessing instruction in a positive and engaging learning environment instead of getting pushed out of their schools? Or are students experiencing a different kind of alienation from their school communities that has replaced suspensions?
Untold Stories Behind One of America's Best Urban School Districts focuses on recent education equity and racial justice trends in LBUSD related to school climate. The report explores how students, especially students of color and high-need students — low-income, English Learner, special education, and foster youth — have been impacted in recent years by exclusionary school climate practices. The findings and recommendations in this report seek to encourage more district-community collaboration that supports student learning and a universal pathway to college and career for LBUSD students—particularly high-need students.
CDF Freedom Schools: Communities, families, parents, and young adults coming together to give children an unforgettable educational experience. Get involved.
"While I continue to face challenges at home head on, at school I remain focused and committed to achieving success. The CDF Beat the Odds scholarship represents this success." - Vincent Zamarripa, 2015 Beat the Odds Honoree.
Statement from Children's Defense Fund–California on President Trump’s First Budget Proposal
May 23, 2017, Media Release
Senate okays plans to set age 12 as minimum for prosecution, reduce wasteful incarcerations
May 15, 2017, Sen. Holly Mitchell
Statement from Children’s Defense Fund-California on Governor’s 2017-18 May Revision Budget Proposal
May 11, 2017, Media Release