Fostering Equity in Juvenile Justice
CSAC leadership gathered in the Alameda County today to discuss ways to improve the juvenile justice system. CSAC President and Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, along with several other County Supervisors and CSAC Executive Director Matt Cate participated in the executive listening session with the Burns Institute. The organization has worked in over 200 counties in 23 states to engage justice stakeholders and communities across the country to build equity in the administration of justice.
“Juvenile justice is one of the central issues of our time,” said Supervisor Carson. “The kids that are encountering the police and the courts as teenagers will either become productive citizens or tomorrow’s criminals, how we treat them as juveniles has a lot to do with their final outcome. I’m gratified that many of my county colleagues were able to join me for this meeting with the Burns Institute. We heard some very good ideas about how to improve the juvenile justice system.”
Also in the meeting were Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez, Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover, Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza, Alameda County CAO Susan Muranishi, several staff members from Los Angeles County, and CSAC staff.
“I found this discussion to be very valuable,” said Supervisor Perez. “Too often the juvenile justice system is a conduit into adult criminal behavior. We have to do more to help juvenile offenders get on the right track. Today I heard the importance of addressing implicit biases within our criminal justice system and different approaches to tackle this problem.”
“Organizing meetings like this one can really help our members manage the complex issues they face every day,” said Cate. “We brought together some of the leading experts on juvenile justice and Supervisors from other states who have engaged on reforming their juvenile justice systems and provided tangible ideas to our Supervisors and staff so that California can continue improving our local juvenile systems. It was a great discussion and I am sure everyone learned something.”