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CJCJ Celebrates Closure of California’s Youth Correctional System

Governor Newsom signs bill to close California's Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

SAN FRANCISCO – The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) applauds the historic decision by California's leaders to close the state's youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Governor Newsom signed legislation, which ends admissions to DJJ in the coming year and eventually closes the three remaining institutions. This legislation shifts DJJ’s future population to the state’s 58 counties — where youth will have access to a broader range of services and programs.

We strongly support the Governor and state legislature in this pivotal step to transform California’s long troubled juvenile justice system. This decision follows decades of critical advocacy, research, and public education by CJCJ and our partners amid DJJ’s abuses. Two recent CJCJ monitoring reports revealed egregious treatment of youth in DJJ facilities and outlined a process for closure. For over 35 years, CJCJ has advocated for protecting youth and their families by closing DJJ.

“Today Governor Newsom brings an end to this dark chapter in California history and ushers in a new era of juvenile justice. On this extraordinary day, we honor the efforts of youth, families, community-based organizations, and advocates who laid the foundation for this moment."

- CJCJ Executive Director Daniel Macallair

With the closure of DJJ, we stand ready to collaborate with our community partners to ensure the success of this critical reform. California’s next chapter in youth justice must hold county systems accountable, put an end to the transfer of youth into adult criminal court, and invest in communities.

Together, we will build a safe and healthy California for all our youth.

Contact: For more information about this topic or to schedule an interview, please contact CJCJ Communications at (415) 621-5661 x. 103 or cjcjmedia@cjcj.org.

Keywords: Division of Juvenile Justice, Governor Gavin Newsom, juvenile justice reform

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