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Mother's Day at Cameo House, Quest for Democracy Advocacy Day, and More!

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Cameo House celebrates Mother’s Day 

Cameo House mothers enjoyed a special celebration on Mother’s Day.

CJCJ's Cameo House is a long-term transitional and alternative sentencing program for formerly incarcerated women in San Francisco. The program provides on-site case management and an array of supportive services, including criminal justice advocacy, parenting, health and wellness, employment/education readiness, and life skills training.

“Many of the women who come to Cameo House arrive directly from custody, with only the shoes on their feet, clothes on their back, and their jail bracelet as the only form of I.D.,” said Rebecca Jackson, Director of Cameo House. “From the moment they arrive the work starts to support them so they can begin to rebuild their lives.”

The majority of participants at Cameo House are in various stages of reunification with their children; some have full custody, some share custody, and others have supervised visitation of their children. All of Cameo House’s mothers receive ongoing parenting skills through direct support, educational groups/classes, and family therapy. Cameo House provides the safe space, structure, and stability that program participants need in order to make difficult and drastic changes to their life.

Jackson smiled as she recalled decorating the community area in preparation of the holidays throughout the year. Though Cameo House takes advantage of every opportunity to celebrate, Mother’s Day is particularly special because it is an important opportunity to recognize and appreciate the efforts of the women at Cameo House. This Mother’s Day, Cameo support staff prepared a home cooked meal, decorated the community room with summer-themed decor, and gave each mother a Mother’s Day card and small vase of flowers.

It was a beautiful celebration filled with smiling faces and tears of joy. “Pictures simply can’t capture the deep level of community that takes place here at Cameo House,” Jackson said.

Find out more about CJCJ’s Cameo House >>


CJCJ joins hundreds for annual Quest for Democracy in Sacramento

Uplifting voices of justice-impacted individuals at Quest for Democracy Day.

CJCJ joined All of Us or None and justice-impacted individuals for the annual Quest for Democracy Advocacy Day in Sacramento. On May 20th, over 600 advocates traveled from all over California to attend. A moving and powerful rally was held on the steps of the state capitol building. Speakers consisted of those directly impacted by the justice system, representatives from community-based organizations, and state policymakers.

Advocates met with policymakers to voice their support for a range of legislation related to sentencing reform, reentry, police accountability, and justice system fee structures. To ensure that volunteers were able to make the most of their legislative visits, All of Us or None also coordinated an advocacy training.

One of the bills that individuals discussed with legislators was CJCJ’s SB 284, the Keep Youth Closer to Home Act. This bill will encourage local innovation and reduce county incentives to send youth to the dangerous state-run youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Justice.

CJCJ strongly supports elevating the perspective of those who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system. This includes individuals who were formerly incarcerated, impacted communities, and family members. Only by including the voices of those directly impacted by the justice system can legislators have an informed and sustainable approach to justice reform.

CJCJ was honored to stand alongside hundreds of community leaders advocating for a more balanced and humane criminal justice system.

Learn more about CJCJ’s Policy Analysis >>


San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton and CJCJ Executive Director discuss juvenile hall closure 

Amid legislation to shut down San Francisco’s juvenile hall, juvenile justice reforms leaders discuss alternatives to youth confinement.

Juvenile justice leaders discuss alternatives to youth confinement

After the San Francisco Chronicle published a report exposing the exorbitant costs of youth confinement coupled with the extremely low population in San Francisco's juvenile hall, Supervisor Shamann Walton was joined by Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Matt Haney in introducing legislation calling for the closure of the facility.

CJCJ and other community-based organizations voiced their support for the legislation, which was developed with the input of community-based service providers in San Francisco. These programs have a demonstrated record of success and could meet the needs of the few youth currently confined or detained at the juvenile hall.

This May, CJCJ’s Executive Director, Daniel Macallair, and Supervisor Walton had a chance to discuss the closure of San Francisco’s juvenile hall at an event hosted by Manny’s, a cafe in the Mission committed to providing a space for civic engagement in San Francisco.

“This is an opportunity to not just rewrite the history of juvenile justice, but also set the standard for--not just San Francisco, not just California--but the rest of the country,” said Macallair.

During the Q&A portion of the event, Macallair and Walton were joined by Denise Coleman, Director of Youth Justice at Huckleberry Youth Services, and Patricia Lee, Managing Attorney for the Juvenile Division of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. The juvenile justice reform leaders examined the inherently harmful nature of youth confinement and led a captivating discussion on alternatives.

Walton shared his personal experience as a youth confined in Bay Area juvenile halls. “You learn how to tolerate being oppressed so you can prepare for the next level of incarceration,” he told the crowd.

The final vote on the legislation to shut down San Francisco’s juvenile hall will occur on Tuesday, June 4th. CJCJ encourages individuals to contact their supervisors and urge them to support this transformative legislation.

Learn more about CJCJ’s support for the juvenile hall closure >>


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