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CJCJ’s Cameo House Families Enjoy Spring, New Report, and more!

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CJCJ’s Cameo House Families Enjoy Spring Festivities

While shelter-in-place orders keep families at home, CJCJ’s Cameo House ensures the safety and wellness of program participants.

Cameo House families gather together for an Easter celebration.

Cameo House families gather together for an Easter celebration.

This month, CJCJ’s Cameo House kicked off spring with fun festivities for the whole family! Cameo House, a long-term transitional and alternative sentencing program, supports homeless, formerly incarcerated women and their children in San Francisco.

As shelter-in-place precautions continue, the dedicated Cameo House team works to create a caring environment for families. Children are continuing their schooling at home with the support of Cameo House participant, “Ms. Keynetta” (as the children refer to her), who guides their lessons each weekday. “It is absolutely amazing the way she has stepped into the role of ‘teacher’ for all of our young people,” says Program Director Rebecca Jackson, who leads with tireless passion amid these unprecedented challenges.

Keynetta and others worked together to make Easter a particularly special celebration this year. Despite all that is going on, Cameo House participants and their children had an amazing holiday complete with Easter baskets for the children, a family dinner, and an egg hunt in the backyard! Activities like this shine a light of hope during the current crisis.

As Cameo House continues its services, donations are greatly appreciated. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice through Zelle to support Cameo House. Additionally, in-kind donations of disinfectants, hand sanitizer, cleaning agents, antibacterial hand soap, masks and gloves can be sent to 424 Guerrero Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.

Thank you to the San Francisco Unified School District, Women's Resource Center, World Central Kitchen, and others who have kindly donated to support Cameo House. Please contact CJCJ Deputy Director Dinky Manek Enty for assistance with the donation process at dinky@cjcj.org.


Make a tax-deductible donation to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice >>


New Report Reveals Dangers in CA Youth Correctional Facilities

New CJCJ report investigates dangerous conditions in California’s Division of Juvenile Justice including violence, crowding, and COVID-19 risks.

Isolation unit at DJJ's N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility.

Isolation unit at DJJ's N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility.

In a new report, CJCJ’s Maureen Washburn and Renee Menart examine the dangers of life for youth in California’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities. These state-run youth correctional institutions have historically failed youth by subjecting them to high rates of violence and isolation.

In the past year, DJJ’s troubling trends of neglect and abuse have continued. Youth spend an average of 13 hours alone in their cells each day. Over 1,000 injuries have been reported, which amounts to more than one per youth. Suicidal incidents have doubled since 2015. With these critical flaws, DJJ fails to meet the basic needs of youth in the state’s care.

The COVID-19 pandemic further endangers youth as the virus begins to spread through DJJ facilities. Currently, three staff at DJJ have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of infections is expected to increase rapidly due to DJJ's large youth population. This report outlines immediate actions to protect youth from the threat of COVID-19, as well as long-term recommendations for lasting reform.

DJJ’s failing approach to rehabilitation results in poor outcomes for youth when they return home: 76 percent of youth are rearrested, 50 percent reconvicted of a new offense, and 29 percent returned to DJJ or a state prison within three years of release.

Find out more in CJCJ’s new report >>


CJCJ Calls for Transparency of COVID-19 Cases in Jails and Juvenile Halls

California must inform the public as COVID-19 spreads through local correctional facilities.

Jail door. Credit: Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Credit: Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Correctional facilities are ill-equipped to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus. Throughout the nation, jails and juvenile halls put individuals at an increased risk of the illness due to large populations, unsanitary conditions, and inadequate access to medical care. Yet little is known about the impact of COVID-19 on California's local correctional facilities.

CJCJ and dozens of partners are calling for transparency. Earlier this month, we sent a letter to Governor Newsom pressing for data collection of COVID-19 cases in local facilities by the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC). The BSCC is a powerful state agency that is already responsible for monitoring and collecting comparable data.

At the BSCC’s Board meeting on April 9th, CJCJ Director of Policy and Development Brian Goldstein raised concerns that, “There are 75,000 Californians in county facilities right now that we must protect.” The Sacramento Bee highlighted CJCJ's ongoing leadership to gather this crticial information on COVID-19 cases and protect all Californians.

Find out more about advocates’ calls for BSCC coverage of COVID-19 cases >>


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