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
In this issue:

Sponsored bill to support youth locally proceeds in the State Legislature

Senate Bill 284, which discourages counties from committing youth to California’s dangerous DJJ facilities, passes through the Senate Public Safety Committee.

This year, CJCJ is co-sponsoring California Senate Bill (SB) 284, known as the Keep Youth Closer to Home Act. This legislation will reverse the financial incentive for counties to commit youth to the state’s youth correctional system, which endangers and isolates youth (as detailed in a recent CJCJ report). Currently, although it costs over $300,000 per year to keep one youth at the state’s Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), counties pay just $24,000 to send a youth to DJJ.

Senator Jim Beall and CJCJ’s Maureen Washburn share details of SB 284 with the Senate Public Safety Committee.

This creates a problematic incentive, encouraging counties to send youth to violent state facilities far from home when a local alternative would better meet their needs.

SB 284, authored by Senator Jim Beall, increases this fee to $125,000 in order to place the cost of DJJ on par with local placements and help keep youth closer to home where they can remain connected to their loved ones and receive the support they need for successful reintegration into the community. 

This month, SB 284 was heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee with juvenile justice advocates and youth joining together at the Capitol to voice their support. During the hearing, CJCJ Policy Analyst Maureen Washburn explained that close-to-home settings already exist at the county level and are operating at just 30 percent capacity, which means counties could absorb the DJJ population more than 13 times over.” 

The bill was voted through the Senate Public Safety Committee with a 5 to 1 vote and awaits a decision in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Learn more about CJCJ’s Co-Sponsored Legislation »

Cameo House families and volunteers connect through a creative project

Student volunteers visit Cameo House to learn about CJCJ and build community through a beautification project.

Cameo House families enjoy painting ceramic pots together as part of a beautification project.

This month, CJCJ welcomed students from Colorado State University on an alternative spring break trip! The group of students dedicated their week-long break to service and learning about the criminal justice system. Students supported CJCJ’s Cameo House program, a residential alternative sentencing program for homeless justice-involved women and their children, by helping beautify the home.

Cameo House families took part in a creative activity of painting flower pots together! As one mother expressed, I loved getting to spend time with my son doing something we don’t usually get to do. It was a lot of fun to see him have a creative outlet.” Cameo House regularly puts on evening programs to not only support women in areas of personal and parental development but to provide opportunities for families to bond and enjoy time together.

Student volunteers help CJCJ create a beautiful yard space for Cameo House families.

When the student volunteers visited CJCJ to learn about criminal and juvenile justice reform, they furthered the Cameo families’ creative efforts by planting trees in the very pots decorated by the women and children. On a sunny day, the students completed their volunteer project with the support of the Cameo House Director, Rebecca Jackson. Together, they helped create a backyard that will provide a space for families to connect outdoors for years to come.

Find out more about CJCJ volunteer opportunities »

CJCJ supports proposed closure of San Francisco’s juvenile hall

Amid steep declines in youth crime, San Francisco’s leaders step up to transform the city’s juvenile justice system.

San Francisco Chronicle

Following an investigation by the San Francisco Chronicle, which explored steep declines in youth crime and confinement and featured research from CJCJ’s Mike Males, three San Francisco supervisors have pledged to close the local juvenile hall and San Francisco Mayor London Breed has created an expert panel to reevaluate the local juvenile justice system.

CJCJ strongly supports Mayor Breed’s panel and Supervisors Ronen, Walton, and Haney in their proposed legislation to shut down the juvenile hall. Their thoughtful leadership marks a critical shift toward community-based approaches, which can better serve our city’s youth.

As we move forward in this monumental effort, we urge the city’s leaders to tap into the expertise among CJCJ and fellow community-based service providers. Representation from community service providers, youth, and families are critical to ensuring an effective transformation of San Francisco’s juvenile justice system. Together, we can support youth and stand as a model for future reform across the state and nation.