County Coalition Responds to Legislation on Juvenile Justice Realignment
August 30, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Floor, Communications Manager
916-926-8769; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SACRAMENTO – A coalition of California County Representatives respond to new developments in legislation related to Juvenile Justice.
The California State Association of Counties (CSAC), the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC), the County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA), the Urban Counties of California (UCC), and the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) are deeply troubled by the problematic, rushed bills (SB 823/AB 1868) to close the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
This legislation lacks County stakeholder agreement, resulting in a severely flawed model. The bills ignore vital input on important policy points to help youth offered by counties– the very entities being tasked with carrying out the care, custody, and rehabilitation of the most complex youth cases in the state. Moving existing, critical funding streams for counties to the purview of a new state office will disrupt the flow of services for youth, jeopardizing long-standing, successful programs proven to help the youth we serve because California county budgets are stretched razor thin by the COVID-19 pandemic and record shattering wildfires.
“The bills create a structure that will harm our ability to implement responsive services to rehabilitate youth, and further hurt the positive and trauma-informed work already being done at the local level for the vast majority of youth in the justice system,” said Karen Pank, Executive Director of the Chief Probation Officers of California.
California’s Counties take their administration of justice responsibilities very seriously and dedicate resources, training and intensive programming to serve youth. Counties worked with the Administration to craft a solution that would have kept youth closer to home and drive improved outcomes for all youth while also ensuring the funding and local authority required to implement this historic undertaking. Counties urge the Legislature to hit the pause button before creating a new state bureaucracy with broad authority over the entire existing juvenile justice continuum, which risks negatively impacting the nearly 95 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system currently served at the local level.
“Counties are immersed in responding to COVID-19, a fiscal crisis, and wildfires. Now is not the time to rush a massive shift in responsibility for the juvenile justice system that does not reflect critical input from counties nor provide the tools needed for success,” stated Graham Knaus, Executive Director of California State Association of Counties.
California State Association of Counties (CSAC) is the voice
of California’s 58 counties at the state and federal level.
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