Ella Baker Center Commends Governor Newsom’s Proposal to Reform California’s Juvenile Justice System

Ella Baker Center Commends Governor Newsom’s Proposal to Reform California’s Juvenile Justice System

Reaffirms Call to Replace Youth Prisons with Effective Alternatives

Press contact: Terence Long, 510-936-0344

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal for the 2019-20 Fiscal Year included a commitment to shift the state’s juvenile justice facilities from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to the Health and Human Services Agency.

Ella Baker Center Executive Director Zachary Norris issued the following statement in response:

“Since 2003, Ella Baker Center members and allies have fought against abuses within the juvenile justice system and for shifting resources toward creating services that young people need to succeed. Through our Books Not Bars campaign, we closed five youth prisons and drastically reduced California’s youth prisoner population.

We are excited to see that Governor Newsom has committed to continue the work to reform the juvenile justice system. Moving the Department of Juvenile Justice to the health department as opposed to a correctional agency is a step toward what our communities have been calling for: replacing CYA prisons with effective community-based centers that help youth heal.

We continue to call for the closure of the remaining California youth prisons, and to shift resources toward restorative justice. Studies show that a system that redirects youth through rehabilitative services like our Restore Oakland initiative, instead of the current CYA model that replicates the adult prison system, reduces recidivism rates by half.”

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