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New Fact Sheet: DJJ Realignment Must Address Racial Justice as Youth of Color Are Harmed Most by the Justice System

SAN FRANCISCO – August 27, 2020 – A new fact sheet by the W. Haywood Burns Institute, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, and California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice examines the stark racial and ethnic disparities among youth in California’s state youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2020-21 state budget proposal to close DJJ provides a unique opportunity to improve local approaches to youth justice in alignment with youth development, health, and racial justice. The State Legislature introduced Senate Bill (SB) 823, which proposes alternative trailer bill language outlining juvenile justice realignment. The bill provides the oversight and infrastructure necessary to close DJJ the right way.

The fact sheet analyzes 2019 data collected by the California Department of Justice (DOJ), which finds that youth of color experience the greatest harms of the justice system. State policies guiding juvenile justice realignment must address the significant racial and ethnic disparities among youth committed to DJJ, transferred to adult court, and at every decision-making point.

The fact sheet finds:

As California’s state leaders move forward in closing DJJ, community stakeholders are eager to support youth locally and put an end to the system that has consistently failed youth of color. State leaders must enact policies in line with research and a long-term vision for youth and communities.

Read California Youth Face Heightened Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Division of Juvenile Justice >>

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