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News items related to best practices

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An Opportunity for Juvenile Justice Innovation in California

Counties currently seeking state funding have both immense responsibility to ensure continued best practices, and the valuable opportunity to build bridges between justice-involved youth and the communities to which they will return. 

Missouri's Innovative Concept Academy: One Powerful Idea

The Innovative Concept Academy in St. Louis City, Missouri shows how one powerful idea can come to life when you are willing to think outside the box and challenge the status quo.

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.

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.

Merced sheriff unveils vision for AB 109 locally with new Trident Center

Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin on Thursday unveiled a new one-stop shop to provide various services to county jail inmates released under the guidelines established by Assembly Bill 109, the state's prison realignment law.

Recognizing the symptoms of trauma in justice-involved youth

Justice-involved youth have complex histories that not only contributed to their delinquency but present challenges for rehabilitation. These compound factors exacerbate a lack of self-confidence, learning difficulties, physical disabilities, and mental health issues. 

District Attorneys and criminal justice reform: A necessary partnership

NCCD President Alex Busansky facilitated a conversation, between San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón and Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, on recent justice reforms in their respective jurisdictions.  The topic is of particular relevance to reform-minded criminal justice professionals, given the transformational role prosecutors can play.

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
From gang member to team player
From gang member to team player Los Angeles Times, January 7, 2013
A Prosecutor's Innovative Response to Realignment
Over one year into Realignment, local justice stakeholders across the state remain challenged by the responsibility of serving an increased number of offenders.  Some jurisdictions approach this new era as an opportunity for innovation and creativity, whereas others view it as the state skirting its responsibility.  San Francisco, in keeping with its history of self-reliance, approached Realignment as a chance to implement community-based practices that support rehabilitation while achieving…
Prison realignment shows slow progress
Prison realignment shows slow progress 23ABC News, December 13, 2012
Little Hoover Commission discusses need for sentencing reform
Today, the Little Hoover Commission (LHC) hosted a public hearing on bail and sentencing reform in the State Capitol.  LHC is an independent state oversight agency created in 1962 to investigate state government operations and promote efficiency, economy and improved service. As part of an ongoing assessment of public safety in California following AB 109 criminal justice realignment in October 2011, the LHC heard testimony regarding the monetary bail system, alternatives to bail, jail…
California and juvenile justice realignment: Solid ideas, shaky execution
While Texas and Missouri continue to make steady, substantial steps towards juvenile justice realignment (as mentioned recently by CJCJ), California seems mired in a state of indecision.  Though acknowledging the need for wholesale reform, the state lacks the political commitment to implement the policy changes necessary to accomplish it.  In 2011-2012, Governor Brown proposed full-scale juvenile justice realignment with support from the Little Hoover Commission, the Legislative Analysts…
Positive youth justice: investing in California's strengths
There is a shift taking place in the landscape of California's juvenile justice system.  In an effort to move away from a punitive model which has historically framed youth involved in the juvenile justice system as a liability, a new framework has emerged.  Traditionally, juvenile justice has been rooted in a deficit based approach that focuses on addressing the youth's problem behaviors such as poor decision making or addiction.  By placing emphasis on the acts of delinquency alone,…
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…
Going local: Lessons from tribal justice
A year into California's criminal justice Realignment, preliminary data  indicates overcrowded state prisons populations are in fact declining.  However, sentencing practices across the state remain varied. While many counties have been able to decrease their reliance on state prison, over half of California's counties experienced an increase in new prison commitments for certain offenses since realignment. For these counties, continued state-dependence could be resulting from the lack of…
San Francisco boasts of prison-realignment successes
San Francisco boasts of prison-realignment successes San Francisco Examiner, October 1, 2012
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…
Gateway Program provides positive path for San Bernardino County juvenile offenders
Gateway Program provides positive path for San Bernardino County juvenile offenders Redlands Daily Facts, August 26, 2012
Editorial: Lock crooks up? County cannot afford the cost
Editorial: Lock crooks up? County cannot afford the cost Record Searchlight, August 22, 2012
Alameda County Ahead of Curve With Realignment
Alameda County Ahead of Curve With Realignment California Progress Report, July 25, 2012
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…
Prison Crisis: Local Solution?
Prison Crisis: Local Solution? Making Contact, June 28, 2012
Systems Change In An Era Of Crime Decline
Systems Change In An Era Of Crime Decline California Progress Report, June 25, 2012

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