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In this issue:

  • CJCJ partnership creates a new resource for youth!
  • After 30 years in prison, CJCJ client is balancing college and work 
  • Direct service programs receive gifts and donations for families
CJCJ partnership creates a new resource for youth!

CJCJ teamed up with Strategies for Youth to provide a new resource for young people with juvenile records 

CJCJ is contacting juvenile justice stakeholders across the state to distribute Think About It First cards to increase youth awareness about the record sealing process. We are also working to include printable versions of all materials on the Seal It website. 

Think About It First cards are wallet-sized booklets that explain in straight-forward terms the collateral consequences of arrest, court records, criminal convictions, and California’s 3 Strikes law. Additionally, the cards inform young people about juvenile record sealing, and encourages them to visit CJCJ’s Seal It website for more information about eligibility and specific county processes. 

CJCJ is also distributing flyers informing youth about Seal It, an online tool to help young people seal their juvenile records. For each of California’s 58 counties, the site includes: 

  • Downloadable applications, petition forms, and sample request letters. 
  • Contact information for the necessary departments. 
  • Step-by-step descriptions of each county’s sealing process.
  • Fee and waiver information.
  • Estimated time frames.
  • Additional steps to take after the court grants or denies your petition. 

The recent passage of legislation authorizing automatic record sealing only applies to youth adjudicated on or after January 1, 2016. There are still many young people who could benefit from the resources Seal It provides. More information about these new laws is included on the website. To request a set of Think About It First cards to increase youth awareness about the consequences of justice system involvement and juvenile record sealing, please contact CJCJ at cjcjmedia@​cjcj.​org or (415) 6215661 ext. 121.

After 30 years in prison, CJCJ client is balancing college and work

After completing job training with CJCJ’s San Francisco Training Partnership (SFTP) program, Jim is working towards his bachelor’s degree 

CJCJ congratulates Jim for completing the San Francisco Training Partnership (SFTP) job training program, obtaining employment, and earning his degree. SFTP, a collaborative of organizations including CJCJ andMission Hiring Hall, provides 90 days of vocational training, job leads, one-on-one staff support, and practical assistance to enable clients to secure and maintain employment.

After being incarcerated for nearly 30 years, Jim is on course to receive his bachelor’s degree in psychology. He began his education while incarcerated which, due to the lack of programming in high security facilities, required dedication and perseverance on his part. 

Anything you wanted you had to be pretty proactive about,” says Jim. For a long time, I used to just write to professors and they would send me books. So I would do their courses, but I wouldn’t get the credits.” Jim was later able to begin taking college courses in lower security facilities. 

Jim says he always wanted to go to college, but it had never seemed like a possibility. Experiencing family dysfunction and abuse from an early age, Jim became a ward of the court at age 13 and got involved with drugs as a young person. He says he now realizes those experiences played a part in his behavior. I knew I was better than the person I became,” says Jim. But I’ve come to terms with all that — I understand it. That’s a big part of healing.” 

However, the healing process was difficult without regular access to treatment, which was not available until he reached lower level security facilities. Jim explains the importance of treatment programs for him while incarcerated: I managed to get involved in a substance abuse program. At that time, they didn’t allow lifers in the program, but I convinced the program manager to make an exception in my case, and basically, he saved my life.”

As Jim acclimates to working full-time and pursuing his education, he is looking forward to nurturing his newfound relationships with his father, his children, and the new people he is meeting. Congratulations again, Jim!

Learn more about CJCJ’s San Francisco Training Partnership and other direct services here » 

Direct service programs receive gifts and donations for families

CJCJ’s Children’s Waiting Room (CWR) and Cameo House receive donations and holiday gifts

This holiday season, CJCJ would like to thank partners, organizations, and individuals for their generosity supporting the direct service programs, including the Children’s Waiting Rooms (CWRs) and Cameo House.

Bay Area organization Family Giving Tree partnered with CJCJ to fulfill the exact holiday gift wishes of 90 children. These gifts were provided to CJCJ’s Children’s Waiting Rooms, the Child and Family Visitation Program, and Cameo House.

Dedicated Children’s Waiting Room staff also volunteered in partnership with Bread and Roses, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD), and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir to provide a holiday choir concert to incarcerated people in San Francisco County Jail #4. The energy of the performance brought the nearly 100 incarcerated individuals to their feet!

Volunteer musicians also gave four, precedent-setting performances for individuals on administrative segregation, who are not typically privy to same opportunities as the general population. CJCJ looks forward to further efforts from SFSD to provide these moments, and encourages embracing more opportunities for other special populations. 

CJCJ also created two Amazon wish lists for items the programs specifically needed. In the Children’s Waiting Rooms, donations include board games, art supplies, and interactive toys for children from low and middle income families who spend hours in San Francisco courts waiting for their parents, or visiting their incarcerated fathers. 

In Cameo House, an alternative sentencing program for homeless, formerly incarcerated women and their children, the wish list includes daily necessities like shampoo, toothpaste, and canned goods. The requested donations also contain gender-specific products that are sometimes overlooked by donors, but are essential in providing confidence and health for women. 

While the holidays have come to an end, the needs of CJCJ clients will remain throughout the year. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Children’s Waiting Rooms, Cameo House, and other CJCJ direct services to give a family’s 2016 a great start!

Donate to CJCJ here » Learn more about CJCJ’s Cameo House, Children’s Waiting Rooms, and other direct services here »