State lawmakers vote in the coming days on a plan to transition the youth
detention system to a rehabilitative model. The change written into the
state budget and coming with trailer bills is the first step to end juvenile
imprisonment in California. California is one of 13 states where juvenile
justice is still housed within a corrections agency. The budget deal by
the Legislature and the Government will transition the Division of Juvenile
Justice from Corrections to the California Health and Human Services Agency.
Under the plan, juvenile justice will be reorganized as a new department
called the Department of Youth and Community Restoration by July 2020.
A separate bill SB 284 incentivizes the shift increasing the cost to counties
of sending juveniles to the state adult system. For the Governor, the
idea is to keep troubled young people closer to home and provide them
with better mental health care, social services and educational and job
training so that they will be less likely to reoffend. The Governor has
said the proposed change aligns California approach with its rehabilitative
mission and core values. It recognizes the trauma that many youths have
experienced, the importance of adults as a source of support and mentorship
and modern brain science which cites fundamental developmental differences
between older adults and young people under age 25.
CONTACT Christine McGuire, an experienced juvenile delinquency defense
lawyer to represent your family member.