Skip to main content

News items related to Brian Heller de Leon

1–25 of 45 items | Next »

Youth incarceration at 35-year low nationally

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released a new report this week highlighting a national 35-year low in youth incarceration with drops across almost every state. Despite this decline in youth crime, it is clear that state and local policies do not reflect an investment in achieving the goals of long-term public safety.

Appointment of permanent OJJDP director signals a positive step

The White House recently announced the appointment of Robert Listenbee Jr. as permanent director to the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).   OJJDP has not had a permanent director since 2009, with appointments regularly held up by political maneuvering in the U.S. Senate. 

Federal health care reform and incarcerated populations
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) , the health reform law passed by the Obama administration and Congress in 2010, will have vast implications for the provision of health services to incarcerated individuals, including expanded access to mental health and substance abuse treatment.  An underappreciated impact of California's AB 109 adult corrections realignment is that county jails are now the primary providers of medical care for long-term realigned inmates.   The Community…
California's adult corrections realignment: Just a change of address?
Several weeks ago, I represented CJCJ at the Second Annual Conference on Public Safety Realignment .  The conference was sponsored by the Joint Training Partnership of the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), California State Sheriffs' Association (CSSA) and Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC). Over 600 law enforcement stakeholders were in attendance, representing Community Corrections Partnerships from the majority of the counties across California.   Staff from the…
Texas juvenile justice community solutions
Texas continues to break new ground with pioneering county-based solutions to serving justice-involved youth.  In addition to the promising state-level reforms CJCJ blogged on last week, a new report details how Texas counties are proving to be effective incubators of innovation.  The report, released last week by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition (TCJC), highlights the model practices of 12 Texas counties and provides fiscal and political recommendations that would enable all counties to…
Texas juvenile justice reforms highlight California's shortcomings
A new report shows that Texas has proceeded on a similar track as California in its statewide efforts to reform its juvenile justice systems yet with superior results, specifically in the state's community-based models run by counties.   As in California, the Texas state-managed facilities were plagued with scandals for years, with independent investigations revealing extensive physical and sexual abuse of youth wards in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC).  The incarcerated youth population…
Counties using pretrial services to reduce jail overcrowding safely
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2012 San Francisco, CA : While 32 out of 58 counties in California are planning to add new jail beds to fulfill new AB 109 realignment responsibilities, a new report identifies counties that have developed cost-effective ways to alleviate and maximize on their existing jail space without compromising public safety. These models and practices could be modified and replicated in other jurisdictions that are currently struggling with overcrowded jails. Best…
Report: Senate Bill 678 delivers on its promises
In July the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) released it's second year report on the effectiveness of Senate Bill 678 , a well-designed piece of legislation sponsored by Senator Mark Leno in 2009. Adapted from a successful model in Arizona , SB 678 created a system of performance-based funding that incentivizes county probation departments to implement and sustain data-driven model practices in adult felony probation supervision.   If county probation departments demonstrated…
Contra Costa community leaders halt new jail construction
Last week, religious leaders and community members from Contra Costa County convinced county Sheriff David Livingston to withdraw his proposal for constructing a new 150-bed jail.   Working in partnership with the local PICO California affiliate, CCISCO , these grassroots leaders were able to convince law enforcement stakeholders that the $6 million required for a new jail would be better spent on alternatives.  A community advisory board recommended redirecting realignment funding into…
Juveniles in adult courts: Moving in the opposite direction
California is moving in the opposite direction of the rest of the nation when it comes to transferring juveniles into adult court systems.  California's practice of filing juvenile cases in adult court is not congruent with the efforts of many states that are removing youth from adult criminal justice system, strengthening juvenile courts, and changing their transfer laws to ensure youth offenders remain in the juvenile system.   A new report from the national Campaign for Youth Justice …
Governor Brown can end juvenile life without parole in California
Governor Brown has an historic opportunity sitting on his desk.  For the first time four years, legislation sponsored by Senator Leland Yee (San Francisco) to eliminate the practice known as Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP) has passed both Senate and Assembly floor votes.  The legislation, Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) has arrived on the Governor's desk and is awaiting his signature.  SB 9 would end the policy some have called "a living death sentence" whereby youth felons are sentenced to life in…
Media coverage focuses on sentencing disparities
Media outlets across the state are posing hard questions about county sentencing practices.  CJCJ's recently launched the California Sentencing Institute , an interactive map that highlights the disparities in sentencing across California's 58 counties.  The map allows researchers, legislators, and the general public to examine the cost to taxpayers for each county's incarceration rate, as well as correlations to ethnicity and county poverty levels. A recent KQED News investigation using the…
Cross-sector collaborations demonstrate impressive results
Counties across the state are facing unprecedented new challenges in their adult and juvenile criminal justice systems.  Pressures are increasing on local systems due to adult corrections realignment under Assembly Bill 109 and unprecedented drops in federal funding for rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.   California counties are responding to these challenges with a wide variety of responses.  While county responses vary, one factor remains constant throughout the state: The…
National leadership, national models for juvenile justice reform
Last Thursday, Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cárdenas traveled to San Francisco to meet leading juvenile justice policy experts from Northern California at the San Francisco State University Downtown Campus .  Councilman Cárdenas is running unopposed this November in a new Congressional district in Los Angeles and will be sworn into office in January 2013 as one of California's newest members of Congress. Mr. Cárdenas was very explicit with the policy advocates that his number one issue…
Juvenile justice policy roundtable in San Francisco
Today CJCJ hosted a group of policy advocates, foundations, and LA City Councilman Tony Cárdenas for a roundtable discussion on state and federal juvenile justice reforms.  Councilman Cárdenas has a strong record in juvenile justice policy with his passage of the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (Schiff-Cardenas Act) as a State Assemblyman in 2000 and his work on lifting the gang injunction in Los Angeles. The discussion focused on the intersection between efforts in Washington D.C. to…
National leaders in youth justice reform
The nation has come along way in juvenile justice reform.  John Jay College in New York recently released a new report that details the various juvenile justice reform efforts undertaken by states in the last 30 years.  Three major strategies for reform are identified and evaluated in terms of the long-term effectiveness of each.   The three main strategies they identify are resolution , meaning limiting judicial options for out-of-home placements by closing facilities; reinvestment whereby…
CJCJ staff present on criminal justice policy & reform
On Monday July 9, 2012 I co-presented with my colleague Gerald Miller on criminal justice policy and reform efforts to a group of college students from throughout Northern California.  The students were participating in the Bay Area Urban Project , a 6-week urban immersion program that explores the major issues affecting lower-income communities in cities through a theological lens.  The students in this program study immigration policy, education disparities, human trafficking, and other…
Legislature, Governor Brown Advance Historic Juvenile Justice Reforms

Legislature, Governor Brown Advance Historic Juvenile Justice Reforms California Progress Report, July 6, 2012

Legislature, Governor Brown advance historic juvenile justice reforms
Just days after the deadline, the Governor signed the $92 billion 2012-13 California budget into law on June 27th. The budget includes some of the most significant reforms in state juvenile justice policy since the passage of Senate Bill 81 in 2007.  In his May 14th revised budget proposal, Governor Brown had retracted his plan to close the state's youth correctional facilities, Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF), under intense and well-coordinated law enforcement and county pressure.  …
The new BSCC: Real opportunity for reform?
In this era of Realignment, California has an opportunity to redefine the state's role in community corrections by highlighting the need for oversight and accountability.  Last week, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released a list of recommendations from the Executive Steering Committee for the new Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC).  The Implementation Recommendations document outlines five goals that the BSCC should prioritize immediate when…
A road map for adult realignment
Adult realignment, the shift of lower-level felony offenders to local supervision under AB 109, continues to pose a challenge to many counties as they struggle with how to serve this expanded population of offenders at the local level.  Recent reports indicate many of the large counties have responded through initiating a planning process to construct new jail bed space rather than shifting current practices.  A few counties have found this increased offender population manageable by…
High cost, low return of longer prison terms
A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that the length of time served in prison has increased nationally by 36% since 1990.   This has translated into an average of nine additional months of incarceration per prisoner.  This results in extra costs to states totaling more than $10.4 billion per year.  The study found that over half of those additional costs were spent on non-violent offenders who posed minimal risks to public safety. Nationally, states spend over $51 billion each year…
A call for shared sacrifice on juvenile corrections budget
The Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Public Safety are being pressured to reconsider the Governor's revised cost-saving proposal for the state's youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Facilities (commonly referred to as DJJ). Law enforcement agencies are demanding that the Legislature reduce or eliminate the new $24,000 per ward fee structure, which was proposed by the Governor's office in the May revised budget.  This amount greatly contributes to the $24.8 million in…
Who is deciding California's budget priorities?
This week, both the Senate and Assembly budget subcommittees on pubic safety held hearings on Governor Brown's revised proposal for the state's youth correctional facilities, Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF).  Under heavy pressure from law enforcement associations, the Governor backed down from his January proposal to close the front door of the DJF and allow the youth offender population to decrease through attrition.  In its place, the Governor has proposed a new annual $24,000 per ward…
CJCJ response to Governor Brown's May budget revise
On May 14, 2012 Governor Brown released the May revision to the budget for fiscal year 2012/13.  The revision retracted both his original proposal for full juvenile justice realignment and the budget triggers that were implemented last year.  The revised budget includes important juvenile justice reform measures.  The proposal institutes a $24,000 annual per youth fee for utilizing state facilities; representing 13% of the total cost.  As overuse of state facilities by some counties has created…

1–25 of 45 items | Next »

California Stentencing Institute screenshot

California Sentencing
Institute (CASI)

Explore how California’s 58 counties send their residents to correctional institutions with interactive maps, charts, and downloadable data.

Connect with us

      YouTube

Contribute to CJCJ

Make a difference to youth and adults trying to get their lives back on track.

Join our mailing list

Get regular updates and news delivered to your inbox. We won’t share your information with anyone else.