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Senate Bill 284: The Keep the Youth Closer to Home Act (2019)

CJCJ co-sponsored Senate Bill 284 (Beall), the Keep Youth Closer to Home Act, a bill that would spur local innovation and reduce county incentives to send youth to the dangerous state-run youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

Currently, counties pay just $24,000 to send a youth to DJJ. This creates a problematic incentive, encouraging counties to send youth to antiquated state facilities far from home when a local alternative would better meet their needs. SB 284 would increase this fee to $125,000, placing DJJ on par with the cost of local placements and helping to keep youth closer to home.

DJJ places youth far from home in prison-like facilities

DJJ is costly, dangerous, and inherently ineffective at rehabilitating youth. The facilities’ harsh, prison-like conditions exacerbate underlying needs and expose youth to the trauma of family separation. Best practices recommend that, if youth are confined, they be held in small, close-to-home facilities that allow for a smooth transition back into their communities. Small facilities are better able to maintain safety, foster healthy relationships among youth and staff, and offer access to the loved ones and community-based resources that are essential to youths’ wellbeing and success.

SB 284 presented California with an important opportunity to promote best practices for effective rehabilitation, reduce recidivism, and minimize county reliance on the harmful DJJ institutions by creating an incentive for keeping youth closer to home.

Author: Senator Jim Beall

: Senator Portantino, Senator Wieckowski, Assemblymember Chiu, Assemblymember Gipson, and Assemblymember McCarty


  • Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
  • Youth Justice Coalition – Los Angeles
  • Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
  • Motivating Individual Leadership for Public Advancement (MILPA)
  • Community Works

Status: Returned without a signature.


Sb 284 beall keep youth close to home act fact sheet 6 7

Sb 284 visual fact sheet