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Adventures for Youth, Sponsored Bill Success, and More!


In this issue:

CJCJ youth take an exciting trip to California’s Great America

Bay Area youth, mentors, and CJCJ staff members enjoy a sunny day together at California’s Great America full of fun and bonding time.  

CJCJ youth, mentors, and staff pose altogether at the entrance to California's Great America.

CJCJ youth, mentors, and staff at California's Great America.

It is ten o’clock on a Tuesday and thirty teenagers, community mentors, and CJCJ staff members are on their way to California’s Great America in Santa Clara. The annual field trip hosted by CJCJ’s juvenile justice direct service programs provides a special opportunity for youth to experience something new and enjoy time together in a carefree, supportive environment. 

This year's trip came together with the leadership and dedication of CJCJ Mentoring Coordinator and Case Manager, Trang Nguyen. The trip included thrilling roller coaster rides, delicious lunch, laughter, and a chance for youth to bond with their peers and mentors. Trang saw "several of the youth come together and share their experience in the juvenile justice system. It was a way for them to relieve the stress to a peer who can understand what they're going through, which can be a unique experience for them."

CJCJ Mentor, Elena, and her mentees take a fun photo together at California's Great America.

CJCJ Mentor, Elena, and her mentees take a fun photo together.

Both youth and adults appreciated the chance to connect with each other through this new experience. Terence Baugh, CJCJ Director of Behavioral Health, found his highlight of the trip at the Drop Zone--one of Great America’s most fear-evoking rides. At the top, while the group was waiting to drop, one of the youth exclaimed, “I just met you, but I love you guys. We're in this together!” 

The youth, mentors, and staff members survived the ride and as they were getting out of their seats, one of the young men in the group literally dropped to his knees in happiness and kissed the ground. As Terence reflects on the trip, he explains, “There is no greater joy than seeing the smiles on the kids' faces, and seeing how they can let go of the stress that they face on a daily basis.” 

Sponsored bill to protect young children moves forward in the California State Legislature

Senate Bill (SB) 439, which sets a minimum age in California for prosecution in juvenile court, passes through the Assembly Public Safety Committee with a majority vote. 

This year, CJCJ is co-sponsoring California Senate Bill 439, which will establish 12 years old as the minimum age for prosecution in juvenile court. Currently, California has no minimum age for the juvenile justice system’s jurisdiction. This leaves hundreds of young children impacted by the trauma of the justice system each year for relatively minor offenses such as curfew violations and petty theft.

Senator Holly Mitchell introduces SB 439 at the Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing on June 12, 2018.

Senator Holly Mitchell introduces SB 439 at the Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing on June 12, 2018.

SB 439 is part of part of Senators Holly Mitchell and Ricardo Lara’s Equity and Justice 2018 bill package. Advocates from across the state are standing together to push for these necessary justice reforms. This bill, in particular, will lessen the long-term negative impacts of the juvenile justice system on children by enabling their families and communities to provide the care and support they need.

Earlier this month, SB 439 was heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee with dozens of juvenile justice advocates and children joining together at the Capitol to voice their support. During the hearing, Senator Holly Mitchell explained, “We’re sending [children] into a system that doesn’t meet their developmental needs. We’re not acknowledging the trauma they have experienced. This bill would promote the rights, health, and well-being of the child by leveraging alternative child-serving systems that are better positioned to meet their needs.” 

The bill was voted through the Assembly Public Safety Committee with a 5 to 2 vote and awaits a decision in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

Donate to support CJCJ’s transition to our new home 

CJCJ enters an exciting new phase of the agency-wide transition to our new home at Cameo House, which is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District.  

CJCJ's Cameo House on a sunny day in San Francisco's Mission District.

CJCJ's Cameo House on a sunny day in San Francisco's Mission District.

This summer, CJCJ needs your support! We are moving to Cameo House, which is a 3-story Edwardian that is ideally suited to meet the long-term needs of the agency. Our programs are divided across multiple locations, which can sometimes cause challenges, especially given the high rents in San Francisco. CJCJ’s exciting transition will allow us to bring our programs together and reinvest savings directly into our clients and services. 

Since 1985, CJCJ has pursued a vision for criminal justice that reduces society’s reliance on incarceration. Our staff support justice-involved youth and adults through community-based services including intensive case management, mental health support, re-entry planning, services for children with court-involved parents, and our Cameo House residential alternative sentencing program. 

CJCJ's Directors spend time together in the Cameo House backyard.

CJCJ's Directors spend time together in the Cameo House backyard.

Currently, Cameo House’s basement is undergoing substantial renovation to accommodate our team and additional programming. Once completed, CJCJ will have a permanent, centralized location capable of serving a diversity of clients. 

Your generosity will ensure that CJCJ continues to develop innovative community-based solutions to public safety. 

Keywords: Cameo House, Juvenile justice, newsletter, SB 439

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