CSAC Bulletin Article

Legislative Analyst’s Office Report on Division of Juvenile Justice Reorganization

April 18, 2019

The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) recently released a report to the Legislature regarding the Governor’s proposal to move the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the Health and Human Services Agency.

The LAO opines that there is a lack of detail on how exactly the Governor envisions this proposal, so the report recommends that the Legislature consider the trade-offs of making this change, and presents a series of questions. These questions include:

  • Does DJJ Need to Be Reorganized to Improve Rehabilitation?
  • What Are Potential Benefits of the Proposed Reorganization?
  • What Are Potential Consequences of the Proposed Reorganization?
  • Are There Alternative Organizational Options Available?
  • Should the Reorganization of DJJ Be Done Through Budget Trailer Legislation?

When elaborating on the alternative organizational options, the LAO explains the possible creation of an independent department, maintaining the existing structure with certain changes, or realigning DJJ responsibilities to Counties. And to that last point, the LAO provides that if the Legislature was to realign remaining DJJ responsibilities to the counties, the Legislature would want to consider a funding structure, a transition plan, a process for state oversight and technical assistance, and necessary policy changes that would prevent youth from simply being shifted to the adult system.

The full report may be found at the following link: https://lao.ca.gov/reports/2019/3998/juvenile-justice-041019.pdf.

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