Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer, Chair of Assembly Public Safety, Applauds Governor Newsom's Announcement to Redesign the Juvenile Justice System

Thursday, January 10, 2019

“The Governor’s budget is a true reflection of our California values.  Over the past few years, we made a number of sound fiscal decisions and produced a surplus with which we can make targeted investments to improve the lives of Californians.  By addressing critical needs such as education funding, health care access, and affordable housing, California is again proving to be a model for the rest of the nation.

“As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, I am delighted by Governor Newsom’s announcement to end the juvenile justice system as we know it. Moving the juvenile justice system from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reflects our growing understanding of what conditions contribute to criminal acts by children and what we must do to help them mature into productive members of our communities. For far too long we have been treating our children as adults instead of providing them with developmentally appropriate rehabilitation services. These efforts will be a much more efficient and effective use of tax payer dollars.

“This great news follows on the heels of our work last year to further support youth offenders.  Last year’s budget extended Division of Juvenile Justice eligibility, allowing young people to remain in juvenile facilities through the age of 25.  This provides more youth offenders with access to rehabilitation programs tailored to their specific needs.  Combining this expansion with the $37.3 million we secured last year for the Youth Reinvestment Fund, we can both provide alternatives to incarceration for our youth and ensure that young people, who are incarcerated, successfully reenter society with the skills and training needed to lead productive lives.

I look forward to working with Governor Newsom to end the “school to prison pipeline.”