Pushing Back Against Alt-Facts and Focusing on California
In this issue:
- Daniel Macallair testifies before California Assembly committee
- CJCJ authors two editorials in national news platforms
- Implementing Proposition 57 and sentencing reform in 2017
Daniel Macallair testifies before California Assembly committee
CJCJ's Executive Director spoke to California's legislators about reducing justice-by-geography for sentencing
On February 27th, CJCJ's Executive Director, Daniel Macallair, testified on sentencing reform before the California Assembly Budget Subcommittee Number 5: Public Safety.
The panel members presented on a range of sentencing-related topics such as changing California's focus from incarceration to rehabilitation, the need for more state-collected data, the harms of determinate sentencing, and the disparities of "justice-by-geography," when an individual's location determines his or her justice system outcomes rather than the offense.
"Sentencing practices between the 58 counties in California are at times as different as Alabama and Massachusetts," said Macallair. "And some counties have what I would call Third World incarceration rates." Mr. Macallair pointed out that some counties are far more likely to rely on prison sentences than others, but all counties are responsible for the considerable costs of prison incarceration.
See the different sentencing practices of California's 58 counties >>
CJCJ authors two editorials in national news platforms
The Los Angeles Times and the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange published two CJCJ op-eds
In response to statements made by President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that falsely inflated rising crime trends in the United States, CJCJ's Senior Research Fellow, Mike Males, penned an article for the Los Angeles Times titled "California to Trump: What 'American carnage'? Things are far safer here than in the rest of America." In his op-ed, Males's analyses of crime and demographic data concludes that "as California’s immigrant population has grown, its crime and violence rates have plummeted."
In juvenile justice news, California will soon begin reviewing the standards that govern daily life for youth in county juvenile halls, camps and ranches, from access to toothpaste to quality case management services. However, facilities often fall short of ensuring humane treatment for youth. CJCJ Communications and Policy Analyst, Erica Webster, authored an op-ed for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange which highlighted the importance of involving impacted young people in the reform process.
"California has the opportunity to invest in compassion and humanity over punitive discipline and coercion that only serves to traumatize young people," writes Webster. "The first step to accomplishing this is by listening to what those impacted by the juvenile justice system have been saying for decades."
Listen to Youth Voices to Bring California Facilities Into 21st Century >>
Implementing Proposition 57 and sentencing reform in 2017
The California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice (CAYCJ) met to celebrate the passage of Prop 57 and to plan for its implementation
On February 1st and 2nd, CJCJ joined dozens of California youth justice organizations for the annual meeting of the California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice (CAYCJ). In 2016, CAYCJ members led the campaign to pass Prop 57, an initiative that abolished the ability of prosecutors to file charges against youth directly in adult court ("direct file") and improved the process governing transfers of young people from juvenile to adult court. The new law ensures that no Californian under 18 can be placed in adult court without first appearing in a transfer hearing before a juvenile court judge.
After considering the lessons and successes of Prop 57, CAYCJ members turned to the future. Among other key priorities, the alliance resolved to closely monitor the implementation of Prop 57 at the county level. CJCJ has long monitored the practice of "direct file" across California and, with the passage of Prop 57, will continue to track juvenile court transfer hearings, racial impacts, geographical disparities, and opportunities to invest in alternatives to incarceration.
Visit CJCJ's Prop 57 Resource page >>
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Explore how California’s 58 counties send their residents to correctional institutions with interactive maps, charts, and downloadable data.