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News items related to DJF/DJJ

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DJF Update: Need for authentic, integrated reform

California’s youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF), commonly referred to as DJJ, is entering its tenth year under a consent decree to reform its practices to provide safe and rehabilitative environment. In October 2013, the latest and 27th Report of the Special Master was filed with the court.

Congregate Care Facilities are a Thing of the Past

Photographer Richard Ross documents youth correctional facilities across the nation.  This blogs explores why these facilities are an outdated approach to juvenile justice.

Cynthia Brown assumes leadership role at Ventura, but for how long?

Another change in management at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility casts doubt on reform success.

Realignment targets adults, but youth system also in flux

“Youth crime in California is at a 40-year low. Looking at the statistics you could argue this is the best-behaved generation on record. Now why that is, we don’t know,” said Daniel Macallair

Youth rehabilitation bill clears Assembly Public Safety Committee

California’s counties are one step closer to having more resources to treat and rehabilitate youth who have committed serious or violent offenses.

California's Division of Juvenile Facilities: Nine Years After Farrell

This publication reviews the progress DJF has made in implementing Court-ordered reforms, using qualitative and quantitative data from the court-appointed expert in safety and welfare, the Special Master who oversees all Farrell reforms, and the CDCR. 

Building a local foundation for state juvenile justice success

California counties have increasingly served as incubators for model policy innovation.  State policymakers must nurture this bottom-up reform to ensure a balanced approach that benefits our justice-involved youth and promotes public safety.

Institutional setting continues to hinder DJF staff reform efforts

Age-old practices have slowly begun to shift at California’s Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) as staff experiment with common-sense reforms, such as positive reinforcement, limiting use of isolation, and providing access to outdoor recreational space.  However, barriers towards sustainable reform will exist as long as youth are housed in outdated institutions.

For Troubled Youth, Prison-like Settings do more Harm than Good

In the early morning hours of May 11, 2011, while sleeping on his living room sofa, Jeffrey Hall was shot dead from point-blank range. The killer was Hall’s son who had a long history of violence.

California judge finds boy guilty of murdering neo-Nazi father
California judge finds boy guilty of murdering neo-Nazi father KPCC Radio, January 14, 2013
DJF's reform efforts, sounding like a broken record
The purpose of the juvenilejustice system  is to rehabilitate youth, a concept California's Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) continues to struggle with. Progress in reform efforts through the Farrell lawsuit, now entering its second decade, have begun to sound like a broken record.   In October 2012, the most recent Report of the Special Master  released to the court commends DJF on certain improvements; however, areas crucial to the reform process have yet to meet compliance.  Key areas…
Still, a Promise of Reform for California's Juvenile Justice System

Still, a Promise of Reform for California's Juvenile Justice System Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, August 2, 2012

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.  …
Take Action: divest from youth corrections, invest in communities
There is currently pressure on the California legislature from law enforcement agencies to reduce or eliminate the Governor's proposed $24,000 per youth fee structure for the Division of Juvenile Facilities. The state is already spending 20-25 times the per capita investment on youth offenders as it is on students in our UC, Cal State, K-12, and community college systems.   With an 80% recidivism rate, the Division of Juvenile Facilities should receive a failing grade yet legislators are being…
Trimming the Juvenile Justice Fat
Trimming the Juvenile Justice Fat Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, May 29, 2012
Trimming the Juvenile Justice Fat
Trimming the Juvenile Justice Fat California Progress Report, May 30, 2012
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…
The Not-So-Shared Sacrifice of Californians

The Not-So-Shared Sacrifice of Californians California Progress Report, May 24, 2012

Governor now wants to keep juvenile lockups open
Governor now wants to keep juvenile lockups open San Francisco Chronicle, May 20, 2012
Misconceptions about high-risk youth offenders

Misconceptions about high-risk youth offenders California Progress Report, May 11, 2012

Perceived improvements to confinement
It's all relative, as the saying goes.  It is true that there have been recent improvements to California's youth correctional facilities, Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF).  Youth are no longer being fed blender meals and are no longer being educated in cages as they were just a less than a decade ago. However, the recently touted successes include meeting provisionary goals as outlined in the 21st Special Master Report  of the Farrell lawsuit, such as developing implementation plans and…
Juvenile realignment: is local supervision the answer?
Juvenile realignment: is local supervision the answer? Victorville Daily Press, May 4, 2012
What does juvenile justice for "the 99%" look like?
The National Lawyer's Guild Western Regional Conference on Saturday, April 28th, featured a panel on "Realignment and Juvenile Justice in California."  The one day conference centered on the prominent "Occupy" movement and focused on the future of the socially and economically disenfranchised.  It asked, what does justice for the 99% look like? Youth comprise one of the most vulnerable and pertinent populations for this discussion.  They are marginalized in the political process and their…
A Juvenile Justice Reprieve: California's 2012 Mid-Year Budget
A Juvenile Justice Reprieve: California's 2012 Mid-Year Budget

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