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  • CJCJ launches initiative to promote alternatives to incarceration
  • CJCJ report shows declines in property crime through reform era
  • Policy staff join assemblymember for juvenile hall tour
CJCJ launches initiative to promote alternatives to incarceration

New initiative will highlight community reinvestment, local innovation, and alternatives to juvenile justice system involvement.

CJCJ, with generous support from The California Endowment, has launched a three-year initiative to promote transformative justice programs, including community innovation and alternatives to justice system involvement. Despite significant progress over the past 20 years, California’s juvenile justice system continues to reflect outdated, punitive approaches to youth behavior. Since the future of juvenile justice is community-based, CJCJ will begin laying the foundation for the permanent localization of juvenile justice services through decreased reliance on state institutions and reductions in geographic disparities in the treatment of youth. 

CJCJ will work in collaboration with local and statewide partners to increase public and policymaker understanding of the juvenile justice system and its impact on the health and well-being of youth. Through this work, CJCJ will advocate for justice system reform that addresses trauma and meets the needs of all youth. This initiative will push for greater public understanding and support of policies that bring about improvements in local juvenile justice services and end long-term reliance on state correctional institutions. 

In particular, CJCJ will continue to raise awareness about conditions and outcomes at California’s state youth prison system, the Division of Juvenile Justice, including the extent to which the facilities impact mental and physical health. CJCJ looks forward to working closely with advocates and community-based partners to reduce the harmful impacts of justice system involvement and increase investment in public health and prevention programs. 

Learn more about CJCJ’s juvenile justice advocacy »

CJCJ report shows declines in property crime through reform era

CJCJ’s Mike Males finds wide variation in local crime trends for 2010 – 2016, with most cities reporting declines amid Realignment, Prop 47, and Prop 57.

In October, CJCJ published a report examining local trends in California property crime from 2010 to 2016, a period marked by major justice system reform, including Public Safety Realignment, Prop 47, and Prop 57. During the justice reform era, property crime rates fell 3 percent statewide. Despite the stability of recent property crime trends, the report finds substantial variation at the local level, suggesting that recent crime patterns may result from local policies rather than statewide reforms. 

Notably, the report finds that for every major crime except vehicle theft, more California jurisdictions reported decreases than increases in their crime rate from 2010 to 2016. For example, just 141 jurisdictions reported rising rates of burglary, while 367 jurisdictions showed decreases. 

Author and Senior Research Fellow Mike Males explains, The divergence between the 213 cities that have shown property crime increases since 2010 versus the 298 cities with property crime decreases was so large — 31 percentage point difference — that the two categories of cities actually swapped places. This striking result suggests that reform measures such as Proposition 47 are not the reason a minority of cities experiences crime increases.” 

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Policy staff join assemblymember for juvenile hall tour

CJCJ tours the Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone and discusses best practices for serving high-needs youth locally.

In October, CJCJ policy staff and Executive Director Daniel Macallair joined Assemblymember Mark Stone (D‑Monterey Bay) for a tour of the Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall. The Santa Cruz facility has served as an Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) model site for more than 25 years. During that time, the county has succeeded in reducing the number of youth in detention by investing in a continuum of community-based services. Today, Santa Cruz maintains record low numbers of youth in its juvenile hall, allowing staff to provide individualized support. 

During the facility tour, administrators discussed the importance of healthy, authentic relationships between youth and all members of the juvenile hall staff. They shared stories of birthdays, leadership opportunities, and graduation celebrations that brought youth, families, and staff together. Assemblymember Stone visited a classroom of students and talked with them about civic engagement and state policymaking. The youth were eager to learn about the role of California’s State Legislature and asked the Assemblymember about tax policy, foster care, and recent state victories. 

CJCJ staff appreciated the opportunity to visit a local facility that is focused on serving high-needs youth in an environment that conforms to best practices — one that is small, safe, and close to home. 

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Read about local alternatives and innovations»