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In this issue:

  • Cameo House residents build new skills and strengthen family ties
  • CJCJ advocates for sweeping changes at youth facilities
  • Children’s Waiting Rooms hosts an international delegation
Cameo House residents build new skills and strengthen family ties

Cameo House celebrates the successful completion of summer classes and facilitates the reunification of a resident and her children.

This month, residents of CJCJ’s Cameo House graduated from their summer classes and completed Women in Recovery Action Plans, outlining concrete steps towards long-term sobriety and stability. Now, residents will continue their journey of healing and growth with a set of new fall classes, which will include parenting, anger management, relapse prevention, and Seeking Safety, an evidence-based substance use and trauma treatment curriculum.

Cameo House is a gender-responsive, residential, alternative sentencing program for justice-involved women and their children. Cameo House’s nurturing, supportive environment allows residents to focus on life skills, such as parenting and sober living. Women in the Cameo House program live, learn, and parent together for a year or more, allowing them to develop the skills and supportive relationships they need to secure permanent housing, employment, and education, and to achieve long-term success.

Parenting and family connection are at the heart of Cameo House’s therapeutic approach. Recently, Cameo House celebrated the successful reunification of a resident and her two young children. Reflecting on this success and the importance of strengthening family ties, Cameo House Program Manager, Rebecca Jackson, said, Watching the joy on a mother’s face as she has the opportunity to reunify with her children is a beautiful thing to witness and embodies the reason that Cameo House exists. I feel lucky to be a part of their process.” 

Learn more about Cameo House »

Donate to support CJCJ’s Cameo House »

CJCJ advocates for sweeping changes at youth facilities

After months of advocacy, a state committee has recommended key conditions improvements at local youth facilities. 

CJCJ has long advocated for transparent decision-making and increased opportunity for public engagement at the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), one of the state’s most powerful criminal justice agencies. This year, the BSCC undertook a review of the standards impacting the treatment and care of youth in county facilities, including juvenile halls and camps. In partnership with advocates from across the state, including the Children’s Defense Fund-California and MILPA among many others, CJCJ actively participated in this process by surveying youth, serving on a facility standards work group, and engaging stakeholders in drafting recommended changes to the standards.

This process culminated in a two-day meeting in Sacramento at which BSCC committee members recommended changes to the standards. CJCJ’s Director of Policy and Development, Brian Goldstein, attended the meeting and called upon committee members to adopt standards that protect young people from harm and trauma. In speaking before the committee about CJCJ’s opposition to pepper spray, Brian said, We’ve placed serious restrictions on how solitary confinement is applied. When it comes to chemical spray, similar restrictions should be put into place.”

Ultimately, the committee acknowledged CJCJ and advocate concerns and recommended several sweeping revisions to the regulations, including a new building standard that, if approved, would mandate outward-facing windows in all youth rooms and a requirement that staff issue fresh underwear to youth upon arrival at the facilities. Brian said, Our success builds from broad collaboration and recognizing the essential voice of young people in transforming our justice system.” 

Donate to support CJCJ’s policy advocacy »

Read about the BSCC’s juvenile facility regulations »

Children’s Waiting Rooms hosts and international delegation

CJCJ’s Children’s Waiting Rooms hosts a delegation from India’s Ministry of Justice and discusses the importance of safe, nurturing spaces for children. 

CJCJ’s Children’s Waiting Rooms recently hosted a delegation of 28 senior judges and chief judicial magistrates from India’s Ministry of Justice. The delegation traveled to San Francisco as part of the inaugural Judicial Training Program at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. To observe justice system innovations and best practices, the delegates visited San Francisco’s Superior Court and toured CJCJ’s Children’s Waiting Rooms.

For over 25 years, the Children’s Waiting Rooms (CWR) have provided a safe and nurturing place for children whose parents have business before the courts. Offering free childcare in a fun and playful space, the CWR became a sanctuary away from adult proceedings and was the first of its kind in the nation. By safeguarding children from the harms of early exposure to the justice system, the Courts and CJCJ work collaboratively to prevent childhood trauma and promote efficient Court operations” said CJCJ’s Deputy Director, Dinky Enty.

The visiting delegates toured the CWR at San Francisco’s Civic Center Courthouse and discussed ways the model could be integrated into courtrooms internationally. Reflecting on the opportunity to showcase the CWR, Dinky said, It’s wonderful to see a local program having a global impact.” During the tour, CWR staff spoke about the importance of setting aside safe, nurturing, and child-friendly spaces in all courthouses. The judges appreciated their visit and left with concrete ideas for bringing San Francisco’s model into their own courtrooms.

Donate to support CJCJ’s Children’s Waiting Rooms » 

Learn more about the Children’s Waiting Rooms program »