Gov. Newsom’s Plan For Juvenile Justice

In Governor Gavin Newsom’s first few months, he’s focused on several initiatives that impact youth, from reforming the juvenile justice system to the appointment of California’s first Surgeon General. Read more at Access Local TV.

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How African drumming is helping young petty offenders in Long Beach

Like other diversion programs, Yayah’s African drumming class aims to redirect young people who have run into trouble. Programs such as these provide an opportunity for first time offenders with minor offenses—such as petty theft, fighting at school, or being in possession of drugs or alcohol—to accumulate community service hours and avoid detention or other penalties in the juvenile court system. “It’s not about being […]

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A campaign to decriminalize trafficked minors

Trafficking survivors, advocates, and officials gathered in Los Angeles to launch the “No Such Thing as a Child Prostitute” campaign. Activists say trafficked children in Los Angeles are treated as criminals, and this is reflected by language— laws in all 50 states currently treat minors as sex workers or prostitutes, terms organizers say wrongfully suggest that a minor is capable […]

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Restorative Justice—returning the peace

Restorative Justice is an alternative to the court process for young adults and teens who commit petty crimes. Youth facing charges like theft, assault, and property damage can be referred to a Restorative Justice program to meet with victims, in an effort to repair the harm done and examine their behavior. Teens who experienced the program explain its function as a better alternative to juvenile detention, in a video by Media […]

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Unlocked: Juvenile probation reformed

California counties could learn from other states when it comes to protocol for youth on probation. Wayne County, Michigan, has elements that make the probation period a little less like punishment, and a little more like support. Case managers and counselors integrate personal relationships into the routine check-ins and regulations required for youth on probation. “While you certainly need compliance and accountability […]

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Unlocked: from probation to incarceration

Probation is considered an alternative to incarceration in juvenile and adult criminal justice, but for many youth entering the system for the first time, it’s an alternative in name only.  Arrested youth, their families, and their advocates say that probation rules end up acting as a circuit leading back to lockup. Probation violations are the leading cause of incarceration for […]

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