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In this issue:

The plummeting arrest rates of California’s children

New CJCJ report shows arrests of children under 12 decreased by 93 percent

Drop in arrests of children under 12

A new analysis by Senior Research Fellow Mike Males documents the pronounced decline in arrests of California’s children over the past 30 years.

Between 1980 and 2013, the arrest rates of children under age 12 decreased by 93 percent. Remarkable declines were experienced across nearly all jurisdictions, offenses and demographics. 

The absence of specific, statewide policy aimed at reducing the arrests of children, coupled with favorable trends in youth issues, such as increased graduation rates, suggest the decrease in childhood arrests may reflect a real decrease in child crime. 

Two cities, Stockton and San Bernardino stand out as exceptions to this overall trend. In 2013, Stockton’s arrest rates of children were 37 times higher than the rest of California, and 8 times higher in San Bernardino. In both cities, school district officers have the authority to arrest students, and appear to do so regularly. With only one percent of California’s population of children under 10 years old, Stockton accounts for 26 percent of the state’s arrests in that age group. 

Read the full report here »

Read the supplemental Stockton/​San Bernardino report here »

Patti Lee honored as a trailblazer of juvenile justice reform

Long-time CJCJ board member receives recognition from National Juvenile Defenders Center

Patti Lee

The National Juvenile Defenders Center has highlighted Patti Lee for her many years of dedicated service and advocacy for youth in the juvenile justice system. 

Under Patti’s leadership as managing attorney in the Juvenile Division of the San Francisco Public Defenders Office, the city has pioneered important reforms to defender services for youth, such as providing social work services and dispositional advocacy. 

Among Patti’s many achievements, her development of defense-based disposition reports helped San Francisco County shift from committing young people to correctional facilities at the highest rate in the state to having the lowest commitment rate in California. 

Patti has been one of the leading innovators in the juvenile justice field for nearly 30 years,” said CJCJ’s Executive Director, Dan Macallair. I think this award is long overdue.”

Read more about Patti Lee here »

California leaders work to implement Prop 47

CJCJ and community leaders educate formerly incarcerated people and allies about new reforms

Salinas community meeting

Communities across the state have been raising awareness about the recently passed Proposition 47 in an effort to help people clear certain felonies from their records. The ballot initiative reclassified drug possession and petty theft-related offenses as misdemeanors. 

On May 21, community leaders in Salinas held a town hall discussion on the new law. A panel of representatives, including CJCJ, Californians for Safety and Justice, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Motivating Individual Leadership for Public Advancement(MILPA), and the Monterey County Public Defenders Office, spoke on the various aspects of implementing Proposition 47.

Monterey County Public Defender Deana Davis talked about the ongoing outreach to those eligible for Proposition 47 relief in prison and jail. CJCJ’s Director of Policy and Development Brian Goldstein spoke about California’s Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), which will allocate 65% of the state cost savings from the initiative, and the need for broader community engagement with the agency to ensure funding is best used to improve public safety.

CJCJ also faciliated a tenants’ rights training hosted by the Central City SRO Collaborative in San Francisco, where Policy Analyst Lizze Buchen provided tentant organizers with information on the legal implications of Proposition 47 and the record change process.

Read about the potential cost savings of Prop 47 »

Learn more about changing a criminal record »