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Senate Bill 838, authored by Senator Jim Beall, is an attempt to establish the first mandatory minimum sentences in California’s juvenile justice system. These sentences have been disastrous for the adult criminal justice system and for public safety, and would be even more catastrophic if applied to young people. Take action to stop SB 838 from becoming law by telling your representatives you are OPPOSED to mandatory minimums, and urging them to vote NO on SB 838. Here’s how:

Come to the hearing on June 17. The Assembly Public Safety Committee will vote for the bill on Tuesday at 9 am. Come to the Capitol and show the lawmakers how many Californians oppose mandatory minimums! 

Call your representative by June 16. It’s quick and easy (there’s even a script), and your voice makes a difference!

Why CJCJ opposes mandatory minimums

Mandatory minimums violate the foundational principles of the juvenile justice system. If SB 838 becomes law and introduces mandatory minimum sentences into the juvenile justice system, the consequences would be significant for California’s youth. The bill would upend a system grounded in rehabilitation — and the understanding that young people can change — and replace it with one focused on retribution and punishment for California’s most troubled and vulnerable youth.

Mandatory minimums do not prevent crime. Research on mandatory minimum sentencing schemes across the nation has failed to find evidence that they have reduced crime — but substantial evidence that they have driven the nation’s skyrocketing incarceration rates, exacerbated racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and dramatically increased the length of prison sentences. SB 838 would replicate these same failed policies for California’s youth, at great public expense.

Contact CJCJ for more information »