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Visit CJCJ’s Prop 57 resource page to view the interactive map » 

Since the passage of Proposition 21 in 2000, California’s district attorneys have had the power to charge youth as young as 14 years old directly in adult, criminal court. This practice, called direct file,” created a conflict-of-interest since the prosecutor, the courtroom adversary of a youth defendant, has enormous influence over the outcome of a young person’s life.

No only do youth prosecuted in adult court tend to reoffend at higher rates, but research conducted by CJCJ and others finds that youth of color are direct filed at higher rates than white youth for serious offenses. The amount of discretion granted to prosecutors in their use direct file also creates a system of justice-by-geography,” where a young person’s likelihood of being direct filed varies depending his or her county’s district attorney. 

CJCJ’s new Prop 57 resource page provides further information about the initiative’s juvenile justice reforms, including CJCJ research reports about direct file, news articles discussing Prop 57, and an interactive map where users can select any of California’s 58 counties to discover how the use of direct file varies significantly from county to county. 

Visit CJCJ’s new Prop 57 resource page to get started »