July Newsletter: Advancing Alternatives to Incarceration
In this issue:
In Fresno, a community-based approach to pretrial reform
CJCJ helps community members advocate for alternatives to pretrial detention
CJCJ's Courtney Lam and Lizzie Buchen educate community members on monetary bail and pretrial services.
Nearly two-thirds of people held in California's jails have not had their day in court. They are detained not because they pose a threat to public safety, but because they are simply too poor to post bail.
On July 26, CJCJ's policy team held a training on monetary bail and pretrial services at a meeting hosted by Faith in Community, a Fresno-based member of the PICO network. In Fresno County's crowded jails, around 70 percent of detainees are pretrial — while the sheriff releases 40-60 people early from jail every day.
As part of their Lifelines to Healing campaign, the community members are aiming to reduce the significant racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and pretrial reform is an important place to start.
Read CJCJ's primer on monetary bail and pretrial services >>
Expert helps Cameo House strengthen its women-centered approach
Barbara Bloom trains Cameo House staff in gender-responsive care
Women make up a small proportion of people involved with the justice system, and their unique needs have often been ignored. Women, for example, are more likely to be caring for a child, more likely to be victims of domestic violence, neglect, prostitution, and sexual abuse, and more likely to be justice-involved due to low-risk, non-violent offenses than men.
At Cameo House, CJCJ's residential program for justice-involved mothers with young children, our focus has always been on the unique needs of women and their children. Now, our program is being strengthened by the expertise of one of the nation's pioneers of gender-responsive care, Barbara Bloom, who has kicked off a series of trainings for CJCJ staff.
As part of our new partnership with the San Francisco Adult Probation Department, Cameo House is now the first alternative sentencing program for women in San Francisco. With Bloom's help, CJCJ and SFAPD are implementing a blueprint for community justice that will honor the strengths and needs of our women.
Read about Cameo House in the SF Bay Guardian >>
A new approach for juvenile facilities in California
CJCJ calls for funding of meaningful services for justice-involved youth
In post-Realignment California, significant funding is being allocated to counties as they construct local juvenile and adult facilities. $79 million is now available to counties for juvenile facilities through a competitive process, and CJCJ is making significant efforts to steer this funding stream towards non-secure facilities with community-based services.
Through tireless advocacy, CJCJ and other juvenile justice reform organizations have helped shape the application process for the current round of funding, but the draft Request for Proposals (RFP) is not perfect. Together with dozens of other organizations, CJCJ has submitted a letter to the board overseeing these funds. This letter highlights concerns and encourages Sacramento to strengthen its investment in best and promising practices at the local level.
Read our public comment on the RFP >>
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