Fair Sentencing for Youth



Archive for February, 2016

News Archive

Justice ballot measure hit hard by DA lawsuit…But not knocked out! Appeal to Supreme Court will happen immediately.

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

On 2/24/16  Judge Chang of the Sacramento Superior Court granted the California District Attorneys Association’s writ to turn back a ballot measure about juvenile and adult criminal justice. The decision will be immediately appealed to the California Supreme Court. The lower court held that the AG abused her discretion by allowing amendments, holding that they were not reasonably germane to the original measure. The judge concluded that the original measure was about juvenile justice and the revised version is about the adult criminal justice system. The court also held that proponents could not submit substantive amendments after the close of the public comment period, notwithstanding the five-day period specifically permitted in the statute. Lawyers for the community groups and others supporting the measure strongly disagree with the lower court’s analysis, and look to he Supreme Court to overturn the decision. Read a newspaper article here.

Learn the nuts ‘n bolts of Youth Offender Parole SB 260 & SB 261!! February 16 at 8pm

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Here’s your chance to learn how Youth Offender Parole (SB 260 & SB 261) works! Two lawyers will join the CARES call, describe the laws and then answer your questions Tuesday night, February 16, 2016 at 8pm. JUST CALL TO JOIN!  Call: (641) 715-3670  Code: 817682# Everyone  is welcome!

Join us to welcome our speakers: ATTORNEYS  KRISTEN BELL and LYNN WU.  Youth Offender Parole now applies to people who were age 14 through 22 at the time of their crimes. On this week’s CARES call we’ll hear from two attorneys who have been involved with the implementation of these laws, taught workshops in prison, and are currently members of the team drafting the new guide.


What is Youth Offender Parole?
Who is eligible?
When does SB 261 start?
When are hearings held?
Who is excluded? 
And much, much more…
Plus, a question and answer session


Kristen Bell is a Soros Justice Fellow with the Post-Conviction Justice Project at the University of Southern California.  As an attorney, she researches how youth offender parole hearings are working across the state, advocates for progressive regulations, and works on habeas corpus petitions to appeal parole denials under SB 260 and 261.  She also works with a coalition of advocates to help educate prisoners about the youth offender parole law.  Kristen is a recent graduate of Stanford Law School, and prior to law school she obtained her PhD in philosophy with a focus on mercy and criminal justice.

Lynn Wu is a Staff Attorney and Juvenile Justice Policy Advocate at the Prison Law Office.  She provides technical assistance to multidisciplinary stakeholder groups to improve outcomes for justice-involved youth, with a particular focus on girls and young women, sexually exploited youth, LGBTQ youth, and young people of color.  Lynn also advocates on behalf of life prisoners seeking parole, including those who committed their crimes before turning 18, and works with a coalition working to eliminate the treatment of young people as adults. Lynn earned her J.D. and M.P.P. from the University of California, Berkeley, her M.A.T. from the Center for Teaching Excellence and Social Justice at the University of San Francisco.



Join CARES Tuesday Feb. 2nd to get advice and insight from Adrian on SB 260/261. Also! Learn about a ballot proposition to change prison credits and parole options, and reform how youth are sent to the adult system

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Everyone is welcome at the CARES call Tuesday night at 8pm.  JUST CALL TO JOIN! Call: (641) 715-3670.  Code: 817682#  You will hear from Adrian, sentenced to life in prison at age 19 , tell his life story and give advice on SB 260/261, and also you will learn about the US Supreme Court’s ground-breaking opinion helping youth sentenced to life without parole (read about Montgomery v. Louisiana) and Governor Brown’s announcement of a ballot measure that would affect prison credits and parole practices and also dramatically change whether youth end up in the adult system. (Learn more here about the ballot measure & sign up for occasional updates or get involved here.)