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Date: May 30, 2013Contact: Selena Teji, Communications and Policy Analyst (415) 6215661 x. 123

Counties’ continued decline in reliance on state youth facilities

San Francisco, CA: CJCJ’s California Sentencing Institute (CASI) released its 2011 juvenile justice data today, showing a continued trend away from state confinement and towards community-based options for high-needs youth. The new data provides a visual tool for understanding and monitoring county juvenile justice practices.

View the 2011 data »

In its 9th year of court-mandated reform efforts, the state’s youth correctional facilities (Division of Juvenile Facilities, DJF) have become an expensive institutional system with low rehabilitative success rates, for youth who have committed serious and violent offenses. In California, over 99% of justice-involved youth are served locally, and county admissions to DJF declined to 474 in 2011 and continue downwards.

Last year, Governor Brown passed measures that further reduce the state’s institutional population, including a per ward annual fee of $24,000, changing the maximum age of jurisdiction to 23 from 25, and eliminating the use of time-adds to increase a youth’s sentence.

This year, the Governor intends to cut DJF’s budget to match declining population projections, and absorb the savings into the budget deficit. However, many counties have demonstrated a need for assistance in developing suitable programming for their high-needs youth, a need that requires additional resources and oversight.

AB 915 (Jones-Sawyer), which was held on suspense in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday, May 24, would have diverted future DJF cost savings to the counties for serving this population. As counties become increasingly responsible for their high-needs justice-involved youth, California must develop a strategy for supporting and incentivizing model local practices.

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For more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with a CJCJ representative, please contact CJCJ Communications at 4156215661123 or cjcjmedia@​cjcj.​org.

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