Unlocking Opportunity: New Burns Institute Report Highlights Disparities in California’s Youth Justice System

Every night in California, nearly 4,000 youth lay their heads to sleep out of their homes, out of their community and away from their families as the result of a court ordered placement. Youth of color comprise the vast majority of these youth (88 percent). In fact, at every decision-making point in the youth justice ...

The W. Haywood Burns Institute Annual Report

It is with deep gratitude that we close out the year here at the Burns Institute. 2017 has been a year of many exciting changes and new opportunities. Our Annual Report highlights some of the work we have done this year and gives a glimpse of what lies ahead. Click here to look at what 2017 ...

New Report: Addressing Racial, Ethnic, and Geographic Disparities after the Repeal of Direct File

Proposition 57 abolished the practice of “direct file,” wherein prosecutors could file charges against youth as young 14 years old in adult court. Significant racial and ethnic disparities in adult court prosecution are a reminder of the need to remain vigilant to prevent these disparities from being reproduced under the state’s new process for transferring youth to adult criminal court.

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.

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.

Decriminalizing Childhood for Youth of Color: A Policy Framework

The Burns Institute recently collaborated with the Urban America Forward: Civil Rights Roundtable Series to produce a thought piece on a new, transformative youth justice policy framework that would challenge the structural racial injustices that contribute to and perpetuate disparities in youth justice.

San Francisco Justice Reinvestment Initiative: Racial and Ethnic Disparities Analysis for the Re-Entry Council

Black people are disproportionately represented throughout the criminal justice system in San Francisco, from arrest to booking in jail to conviction and sentencing — and the disparity is growing worse. DOWNLOAD THE SUMMARY OF FINDINGS HERE. DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT HERE.

Repairing the Breach: A Brief History of Youth of Color in the Justice System

Our history of how we’ve policed the bodies of youth of color and labeled their minds as feeble is echoed in our current national conversation around criminal justice and race. DOWNLOAD PDF: Repairing the Breach

What Happens When the Bargain of Civil Society is Breached?

“The child well-being framework firmly asserts the rights of all young people, regardless of their race and ethnicity, to be viewed as children who are experiencing a normal adolescent journey and to be treated with fairness and equity.” James Bell, Founder and Executive Director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice, Fairness and Equity, ...