Books Not Bars


Books Not Bars organizes the largest network of families of incarcerated youth and champion alternatives to California’s costly, broken prison system.

Currently we are focused on:

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A lawsuit against East Bay juvenile authorities and legislation in Sacramento seek to greatly limit the practice of locking up youth in solitary confinement for months at a time.
The LA Times Editorial Board reiterates its support for ending solitary confinement for young people and calls for the California legislature to pass SB 61 to regulate and document solitary confinement for youth in California.
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream, and shared that dream with hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall. Today, with more than 2 million people locked behind bars, we have a dream to reduce the incarceration rate by 50% in the next 10 years. Let's get started now.
An update on the use of pepper spray in the DJJ.
A new film explores the impact of incarceration on the loved ones of those locked up.
As we head into National Juvenile Justice Awareness month, it’s wonderful to celebrate the many bills that Books Not Bars supported which were recently signed into law.
A new report outlines the struggles of families impacted by the juvenile justice system.
When Alma Barillas last visited her son at Ventura youth prison, she didn't expect to be pepper sprayed by guards. But that's exactly what happened.
Jennifer shares the story of how Books Not Bars helped end Time Adds in the DJJ.
With the Governor’s signing of the new budget, the controversial practice of time adds in our youth prisons will finally end bringing a sliver of justice and hope to California youth and families.