Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, Sr. Requesting $100 Million from California to Continue Funding the Youth Reinvestment Grant

Monday, May 6, 2019

(Sacramento - May 6, 2019) – Today Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-South Los Angeles) requested $100 million from the California State budget to continue funding the “Youth Reinvestment Grant” (YRG) an investment that would improve the outcomes of vulnerable youth populations.

“Last year I secured $37.3 million to create the Youth Reinvestment Grant (YRG), a new fund that improves the outcomes of vulnerable youth populations by connecting them to trauma informed and community-based interventions in lieu of arrest, detention or incarceration,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. “60 California cities, counties and federally recognized tribes, have applied for the YRG requesting over $53.5 million dollars. Now, more than ever, California has demonstrated that it’s time to stop locking up our youth and start investing in their future. This year, I am requesting $100 million to help dismantle the School to Prison Pipeline, an investment that will save the lives of our At-Promise Youth.

The YRG proposal would allocate $100 million to fund local youth development and pre-arrest diversion programs for children up to 18 under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court system in under-served communities.

“It should be obvious on its face; children are still in the process of learning, maturing, and developing into the adults they will be,” said Frankie Guzman, Director of the National Center for Youth Law’s California Youth Justice Initiative. “However, the harsh treatment we impose upon youth in conflict with the law doesn't reflect this simple premise. The Youth Reinvestment Grant instead takes a more sensible, health-based approach that will not only result in better outcomes for individual youth but one that also improves public safety. This is an investment we must make.”

Researchers have found that diversion and mentoring programs produces triple the benefits for every dollar spent in terms of reduced crime and associated savings to taxpayers. This approach will also reduce the disproportionate impact the justice system has had on our most vulnerable youth and communities of color.

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Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. represents South Los Angeles, Florence-Firestone, Walnut Park, and a portion of Huntington Park. For more information about Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, Sr., please visit https://a59.asmdc.org/