Overview Cameo House Community Options for Youth (COY) Detention Diversion Advocacy Program (DDAP) Expert Witness, Court Navigation, & Sentencing Mitigation Services Juvenile Collaborative Reentry Unit (JCRU) No Violence Alliance (NoVA) Overview Technical Assistance California Sentencing Institute Next Generation Fellowship Legislation Transparency & Accountability

On November 8th, Californians will have the opportunity to cast a vote in support of Prop 57, a measure that would expand opportunities for rehabilitation by making commonsense reforms to the state’s juvenile and criminal justice systems. CJCJ supports Prop 57 in its entirety because it advances the values of rehabilitation and supportive reentry, and aligns with the agency’s mission to reduce society’s reliance on incarceration as a solution to social problems.

Juvenile Justice Reform: Repealing Direct File” 

Prop 57 will abolish direct file” — a practice that allows prosecutors to files charges against youth as young as 14 years old directly in adult criminal court. Direct file bars hundreds of young people each year from the juvenile justice system, relegating them instead to more punitive adult criminal courts. Furthermore, the use of direct file has shown to disparately impact youth of color and vary widely between counties, leading to a system of justice-by-geography.”

By removing prosecutor’s ability to direct file, Prop 57 will return the authority juvenile court judges who may decide to transfer youth to adult criminal court through a transfer” or fitness hearing.” Prop 57 will shift the presumptive burden to prove that a young person should be moved to adult criminal from the youth to the prosecutor, and the judge will have an opportunity to deliberate over the young person’s life circumstances, experience with trauma, and physical, mental and emotional state at the time of the offense. 

Click on the map below to see county-level data on direct file and fitness hearings in California’s 58 counties

Direct File Publications

CJCJ Research Reports

The Prosecution of Youth as Adults in California: A 2015 Update

(published in partnership with the W. Haywood Burns Institute and the National Center for Youth Law) 

The Prosecution of Youth as Adults in California

(published in partnership with the W. Haywood Burns Institute and the National Center for Youth Law) 

Justice by Geography: Do Politics Influence the Prosecution of Youth as Adults?

Charging youths as adults in California: A county by county analysis of prosecutorial direct file practices

An analysis of direct adult criminal court filing 2003 – 2009: What has been the effect of Proposition 21?

CJCJ Articles

California’s Prop 57 Would Have Judges, Not Prosecutors, Decide If Youth Are Tried As Adults

A Yes” on Prop 57 Will End Direct File

Prosecuting Youth As Adults Creates Racial Disparities and Justice-By-Geography’

California legislature hears pros and cons of statewide sentencing reform

End Mass Incarceration. Stop Prosecuting Youth as Adults.

CJCJ’s Sentencing Service Program keeps youth in juvenile court

New data reveal persistent disparities in charging youth as adults

Juveniles in adult courts: Moving in the opposite direction

Prop 57 in the News California Vote Could Save Thousands of Kids From Harsh Adult Sentencing

Yes Magazine

Domingo, Moore, O’Neal: Prop. 57 will give troubled kids a second chance

San Jose Mercury News

Jail state: Juvenile justice overhaul rallies Sacramento faith community behind Prop. 57

Sacramento News & Review 

Young and Locked Up in Silicon Valley

San Francisco Magazine

Treating Young Offenders Like Adults Is Bad Parenting

The Atlantic

Study: Certain CA Counties Charge Youth as Adults More Often

California Public News Service


KQED’s The California Report: Justice by Geography: Direct File Applied Differently Across Counties

KQED’s The California Report: With Prop. 57, Voters Weigh Keeping More Kids Out of Adult Court

KQED’s The California Report: Jerry Brown Pushes Earlier Release of Felons Under Proposition 57

KALW: California’s Prop. 57 tackles sentencing of juvenile offenders and parole