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February News from CJCJ!


In this issue:


Sierra Health Foundation's Speaker Series features Daniel Macallair

CJCJ Executive Director, Daniel Macallair, talks about his new book and speaks on a panel about the history of California youth corrections

SHF and Daniel Macallair

In connection with his new book, After the Doors Were Locked: A History of Youth Corrections in California and the Origins of 21st Century Reform, on February 24th, Daniel Macallair spoke on the compelling and incisive history of the nation's largest juvenile justice system.

The event was hosted by the Sierra Health Foundation (SHF) as part of the organization's Speakers Series. It included a performance from spoken-word artist Takarra Johnson, an interview of Daniel Macallair by SHF president and CEO, Chet Hewitt, and a panel discussion with Macallair and CJCJ partners Sammy Nunez and Ruben Mesta from Fathers and Families of San Joaquin

During the interview, Macallair drew from over 30 years of experience in the juvenile justice field. He discussed the corruption and abuse that has permeated each chapter of Califonia's youth corrections history, and highlighted the tendency of these institutions to remain unchanged despite illusions of reform.

Macallair stated that the "reality of daily life in institutions has not changed" and that "as long as the state system exists, counties will be able to abdicate responsibility."

The panel discussed the personal experiences of both Sammy Nunez and Ruben Mesta in California's facilities, including the persistent threat of violence and the difficulty of reentry.

Sammy Nunez expressed hope, stating that today "we have a window of opportunity to shape the future of juvenile justice reform."

CJCJ thanks the Sierra Health Foundation for hosting and organizing this event, and for their continued support of CJCJ's mission to reduce California's reliance on incarceration as a solution to social problems. 

Purchase After the Doors Were Locked by Daniel Macallair >> 


New CJCJ collaborative offers reentry services after federal prison 

CJCJ is happy to introduce the Federal Reentry Project (FRP), a new partnership program that pairs people on federal probation with local services

Federal Reentry Project team

The Federal Reentry Project (FRP) is a collaborative partnership between the U.S. Probation Service, Federal Public Defender, U.S. Attorney's Office, Presiding Judges Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero and Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler, and CJCJ. 

The program will provide comprehensive, culturally-appropriate, gender-responsive, individually-tailored case management and reentry services to individuals being released from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons and returning to San Francisco and Alameda County. Further eligibility for this program will be determined by CJCJ's federal partners according to risk assessments, background research, and partner recommendations. 

Case management for each Federal Reentry Project client begins with a pre-release team meeting. CJCJ's Reentry Court Coordinator develops a release plan in collaboration with the federal team. This plan include involvement in local programs that support clients with housing, life skills, education, employment, and other critical reentry needs. 

The Reentry Court Coordinator will also work closely with community-based service providers to ensure that clients are accessing services, and trouble-shooting when there are impediments to program participation. 

Gerald Miller, CJCJ's Director of Adult Community Corrections Services, explains that his "vision for this program is that it address real-time as well as systemic barriers to reentry."


Daily Journal interviews Daniel Macallair about the future of DJJ

Daily Journal asks CJCJ Executive Director, Daniel Macallair, about closing DJJ, local alternatives, and government corruption 

DJJ facility sleeping area

On February 9th, the Daily Journal published an article by L.J. Williamson, entitled "Department of Juvenile Justice: Empower or End?" The piece was published in preparation for the February 25th court hearing which released California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's (CDCR) Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) from the conditions reforms mandated in 2004 by the Farrell lawsuit

Daniel Macallair and CJCJ would prefer to see the closure of DJJ in favor of smaller, county-level facilities. In the article, Macallair states that the beds and funding are available at the local level for this transition after the passage of "juvenile justice realignment" through Senate Bill (SB) 81. What is missing is the oversight to implement programming. "It will never be developed as long as we have a state system," Macallair said in the article. 

The piece also points to the unprecedented 40-year decline in youth crime, providing California with the opportunity to innovate and develop alternatives to its large, congregate-care, state-run facilities. Williamson points to Macallair's concern that the state is investing in expanding DJJ through "a proposed plan to build a new [facility] for young adults ages 18-25, called the California Leadership Academy (CLA)." 

In response, Macallair asks, "Why in the world would the state invest in new institutions when you have all of this at the county level?"

Read the full Daily Journal article here >>


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Keywords: After the Doors Were Locked, California Leadership Academy, Community-Based Services, Daily Journal, Daniel Macallair, DJJ, facilities, farrell v. cate, Federal Reentry Project, Gerald Miller, Juvenile justice, Sierra Health Foundation, youth

Posted in Correctional Institutions, Juvenile Justice

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