Thousands of California youth are incarcerated every year for low-level offenses. Our youth deserve a better approach, one that can have the added benefit of reducing the disproportionate impact the justice systems have on youth of color, children with disabilities, girls, LGBTQ youth, and foster children.
The Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the Act) has served consumers well, and ensures fair debt collection related to credit card debt. However, the Act does not protect individuals who have unpaid parking tickets, storage and towing fees from receiving multiple calls in one night from a debt collector using profane and offensive language in pursuit of collecting delinquent payments.
As the Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety and the Select Committee on The Status of Boys and Men of Color, I have visited many jails and prisons. Regardless of the facility, I always leave with the belief that we can and should do more to change the path that leads these men, women and youth to incarceration.
Communities of color have suffered through trauma for hundreds of years, and now science is beginning to recognize the impact that trauma has on our children, and their children. Research in the field of epigenetics has shown that environmental factors experienced during life can affect our genes and be passed down to new generations. Although we have spent a lot of time focusing on the social ramifications of oppression, it
In the past, youth justice in California has tried a tough and heavy-handed approach, particularly on youth of color. We now know from solid research of youth development and juvenile justice that punishment should be our last approach, a recourse only taken when more effective options such as mental health services and community-based programs don’t work. Incarceration can have lifelong consequences on a young person.