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CJCJ Youth Mentee Begins College, Budget Advocacy, and More!

In this issue:

Youth Justice Mentoring participant housed, employed, and prepared for college

A long-term participant with CJCJ’s YJM program successfully secures a job, housing, and enrollment in college—all in the midst of her high school graduation.

CJCJ's YJM Mentor Aubrey (left), Rickshenay, and CJCJ’s Mentoring Coordinator and Case Manager Trang celebrate Rickshenay's recent accomplishments together at dinner.

 This month, a dedicated participant in CJCJ’s Youth Justice Mentoring Program (YJM) successfully graduated from high school as she already makes strides toward her college career. Rickshenay, an 18-year-old San Francisco native, has been a part of the YJM program since 2016, in which she has been provided with culturally competent and gender-specific care both in-detention and through her return to the community.

With determination, honesty, and openness to supportive services, Rickshenay’s successes are only just beginning. In addition to her high school graduation, she has just accepted a job at UC Berkeley, is moving into transitional housing, and is already excelling in two college courses at Laney College.

Throughout her time with YJM, Rickshenay and her mentor Aubrey built a strong, transparent relationship for continued support. In celebration of all of her recent accomplishments, Aubrey and Trang Nguyen, CJCJ’s Mentoring Coordinator and Case Manager, took Rickshenay out to dinner where they all were able to reflect on her hard work and explore her excitement for the future.

Learn more about CJCJ’s Youth Justice Mentoring (YJM) Program >>

CJCJ’s JCRU models effective aftercare and reentry practices for Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County Probation Department visits CJCJ’s Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit (JCRU) to explore effective aftercare models and learn from the program’s success.

Judge Kathleen Kelly of the Superior Court of San Francisco presiding over the Juvenile Reentry Court

 CJCJ supported the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department and the W. Haywood Burns Institute in providing technical assistance to the Santa Clara County Probation Department through a tour of the Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit (JCRU). As one of CJCJ’s model direct service programs, JCRU provides cohesive reentry planning and resources to youth in local out-of-home placements in partnership with the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department, San Francisco Superior Court, and San Francisco Public Defender's Office.

Santa Clara County Deputy Chief Probation Officer Kathy Martinez and five other probation staff members met with key JCRU stakeholders to observe the specialized Reentry Court, hear from a panel of former JCRU participants, and deepen their understanding of the program in a Q&A session with JCRU leaders: Adrian Garcia of CJCJ, Kwanza Morton of the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department, and Rebecca Marcus of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office.

The represented agencies discussed the key elements of JCRU’s success, and considered its potential application in Santa Clara County. Among the most important factors is the program’s Continuum of Care, in which contact with youth participants begins when they are in an out-of-home placement, follows fluidly into probation, and continues through their transition back to the community.

CJCJ’s JCRU Reentry Services Manager Adrian Garcia reflects on the importance of relationship-building and consistency among caregivers in a youth’s reentry process: “Who’s a kid going to trust? Someone who has been there throughout the whole process, or someone who showed up in phases?”                                                                         

Learn more about CJCJ’s Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit (JCRU) >>

CJCJ advocates for the state budget to better serve California’s youth

CJCJ’s policy team heads advocacy efforts with fellow juvenile justice organizations to voice community concerns regarding the Governor’s Budget Proposal for 2018-19.

CJCJ's Policy Analyst Maureen Washburn speaks at the Senate Budget Subcommittee hearing to share CJCJ's concerns about the expansion of DJJ's budget in the Governor's 2018-19 Budget Proposal.

 CJCJ has long pushed against the practice of sending youth to California’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities, which subject youth to prison-like conditions far from their home communities. With policy advocacy informed by the organization’s data-driven research and model direct service programs, CJCJ seeks to align California’s approach to juvenile justice with widely-recognized best practices at the local level.

Despite the inherent flaws of large, congregate juvenile justice facilities and DJJ’s rising per capita costs amid falling youth populations, the Governor’s Budget Proposal for 2018-19 seeks to expand DJJ’s jurisdiction and increase funding. Since January, when the proposal was made public, CJCJ’s policy team has collaborated with numerous community organizations to align and mobilize juvenile justice advocates against the proposed DJJ budget increase of nearly $4 million.

CJCJ wrote letters that informed the subcommittee analyses, met with key leaders in the budget process to discuss advocates’ concerns, and provided public comment at both the relevant Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees this month.

In the Senate Budget Subcommittee hearing, CJCJ Policy Analyst Maureen Washburn emphasized CJCJ’s vision for juvenile justice at the local level pushing for “a greater discussion about what we want juvenile justice to look like in California and how we can move away from a bifurcated system and into one where young people can get what they need closer to home.”

Learn more about CJCJ’s Policy Analysis >>