Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice2019-02-15T14:59:16-07:00

The Problem

Juvenile justice facilities in California are outdated and must be transformed. Many facilities were built in the 1950s and 1960s based on an approach of concentrating large number of youth in regimented, penitentiary-like facilities far from their homes. These facilities — some which even mimic adult prisons — embody a correctional approach to juvenile justice that has been proven to be costly, inhumane and ineffective for young people.

Our Vision

Juvenile justice facilities in California are outdated and must be transformed. Many facilities were built in the 1950s and 1960s based on an approach of concentrating large number of youth in regimented, penitentiary-like facilities far from their homes. These facilities — some which even mimic adult prisons — embody a correctional approach to juvenile justice that has been proven to be costly, inhumane and ineffective for young people.

The Solution

To better achieve both safety and youth well-being, we must:

  • Prevent youth contact with courts, probation and law enforcement whenever possible
  • Ensure treatment of system-involved youth is fair, proportionate and developmentally appropriate
  • Divert resources away from the court and law enforcement system into education, jobs, mental and public health systems and other essential supports that strengthen youth, families and whole communities.

Our Progress

We have supported and worked on several juvenile justice bills that will help decriminalize and protect our young people.

  • SB 439: Minimum Age of Juvenile Court Prosecution: This bill establishes a minimum age of 12 years old for prosecuting youth in juvenile court in California, except in the most serious cases of murder and forcible rape. The intent of the law is to protect young children from the harms and adverse consequences of justice-system involvement and encourage more effective interventions, if appropriate, to improve the well-being of children and public safety.

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