Press Release: California Takes the Lead in Juvenile Justice Reform — Ends The Harmful, Unlawful, and Costly Practice of Charging Fees to Families with Youth in the System

SACRAMENTO—On October 11, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 190, a major, bipartisan juvenile justice reform bill that will improve youth rehabilitation and increase public safety. Effective January 1, 2018, SB 190 ends the regressive and racially discriminatory practice of charging administrative fees to families with youth in the juvenile system. More specifically, ...

Proposition 57 Draft Regulations Would Exclude Thousands From the Promise of Rehabilitation

Last November, nearly two-thirds of California voters said yes to Proposition 57, a ballot measure which supported increasing parole eligibility and good behavior opportunities for people convicted of nonviolent crimes and allowing judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to direct file youth to adult court. Despite this support for a justice system that is centered ...

JJDPA Passes House and Senate, but Still Long Road to Go

On August 1st the Senate approved S860, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Reauthorization Act of 2017, which strengthens and updates the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 2002. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) was first signed into law on September 7, 1974; it was last reauthorized in 2002 and is now ...

Report Update: Direct File Rates Arbitrarily Rising for Youth of Color

A new report shows that rates of direct file increased in 2015 despite falling rates of arrest for serious felony offenses, with a continued disproportionate impact on youth of color.

The BI Urges Federal Government to Strengthen Requirements for Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities

Today, the W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI) and the Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) submitted recommendations to the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) aimed at strengthening the agency’s approach to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the youth justice system. The BI and CCLP prepared the joint recommendations in response ...

Community Tools to Change Mass Incarceration of Youth of Color

Racial disparities in incarceration has individual, community and cultural impacts that perpetuate existing disparities. There are community tools to combat those effects.

Direct File Rates Arbitrarily Rising for Youth of Color

Prosecutors are directly filing charges against youth in adult court at greater rates, while juvenile crime has gone down, most heavily impacting youth of color.

New BI Report Highlights Troubling Trends in Youth of Color Incarceration

While the overall rate of incarceration of all youth has decreased by 55% since 1997, the rate of incarceration of youth of color continues to rise, marking an alarming pattern.

The Unintended Consequences of Money Bail

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” – 8 Amendment, U.S. Constitution   At the time of the US government’s founding, the right to bail, i.e. release, pretrial was deemed so important that it was included within the Bill of Rights. But the right to bail does not mean ...

The Evolution of Money Bail Throughout History

  California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye recently proclaimed, “We must not penalize the poor for being poor.” This belief underpins her efforts to direct resources to releasing defendants under supervision rather than money bail as well as to studying money bail on a national level. The reliance of courts on money bail and other ...