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In this issue:
  • Formerly incarcerated Californians advocate for reform
  • San Francisco’s Racially Disproportionate Arrest Rates Persist
  • CJCJ youth client gets a fresh start

Formerly incarcerated Californians advocate for reform

Third annual Quest for Democracy Day” brings formerly incarcerated people and allies to Sacramento

Quest for Democracy Day 2015 Participants

Lucas Guilkey

On April 27, formerly incarcerated people and their friends, families and allies traveled from across California to meet with legislators on important criminal justice reforms for the third annual Quest for Democracy Day.”

The event was hosted by Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and All of Us or None, which organized transportation for advocates from Riverside to Stockton, brought key lawmakers like Sen. Holly Mitchell and Asm. Reginald Jones-Sawyer to speak on their priorities in criminal justice, and scheduled meetings with legislators on both sides of the aisle. 

The goal of the day was to advocate for 16 bills that, among other methods of improving fairness and justice, reduce incarceration, support the rehabilitative efforts of formerly incarcerated people, and improve transparency on racial profiling and use of force by law enforcement.

Representatives from CJCJ participated in meetings with state legislators and their staff alongside members of California’s criminal justice advocacy organizations, sharing personal stories of involvement with the justice system, informing law-makers about the difficulties faced by justice-involved people, and making their voices heard. 

Read about CJCJ’s priority legislation for 2015 »

San Francisco’s Racially Disproportionate Arrest Rates Persist

New figures show that racial disparities in the arrest rates of black women in San Francisco have worsened in recent years

SF Public Defender’s Justice Summit: Race & Reform

A new CJCJ analysis by senior research fellow Mike Males finds that, though African American women compose only six percent San Francisco’s population, they constitute 46 percent of the city’s female arrests. The findings build upon an earlier CJCJ analysis on worsening racial disparities in the city’s drug arrest rates.

Despite an overall decrease in San Francisco’s African American population, the likelihood of arrest for Black women relative to non-Black women has increased over the past 35 years. In 1980, African American women were 4.1 times more likely to be arrested than women of other races but, as of 2013, that relative likelihood has increased to 13.4.

The city’s racial disparities in female arrest rates were significantly worse than the already pronounced racial disparities elsewhere in California: Black women in San Francisco are 50 times more likely to be arrested for weapons and 30 times more likely to be arrested for narcotics than women of other races compared to other areas of the state.

CJCJ’s study, released April 29, was highlighted in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Justice Summit on Race & Reform.

Read the report »

Read CJCJ’s 2012 report on disproportionate drug arrest rates »

CJCJ youth client gets a fresh start

After overcoming his obstacles, Joel now looks to a career in the tech industry

CJCJ is celebrating Joel, a participant of our Placement Diversion Reentry Program, for successfully completing his program requirements and being dismissed from probation.

Joel and his family moved to the United States when he was 6 years old, hoping for better opportunities. At an early age, Joel fell victim to the difficulties of the streets and, as a result, his academics suffered and he struggled with substance abuse. 

After participating in CJCJ’s programs for over a year, Joel made some significant life changes and dramatic improvements to his decision-making process and overall attitude. Through his hard work and efforts, Joel’s probation case was dismissed. He now plans to attend school every day, and hopes to land a job in the tech industry. 

Congratulations, Joel!

Read more about CJCJ’s Placement Diversion Reentry Program »