Fair Sentencing for Youth



Archive for May, 2016

News Archive

Two minutes. REALLY. That’s all it takes to move California closer to just treatment of our children and youth

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

An important bill will be voted on the week of May 31st. Help by making a single (easy) call. Did you think children and youth have the same constitutional rights as adults? Apparently not in California, where youth can give up their rights without really understanding them. Police officer to 10-year-old: “You have the right to remain silent. Do you understand what means?” Boy: “Yes, sir. It means I have the right to remain calm.” Yep, a CA appellate court found a 10-year-old could make a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent waiver of his constitutional rights.

We are trying to change that, and we have a bill to do it. You can read about SB 1052 here: http://fairsentencingforyouth.org/take-action/

Do you live in California? Take 2 minutes (really, just 2) and call your Senator. It is very powerful for a Senator to hear from his or her constituents.
1. Find your senator here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
2. Call his or her Sacramento office.
3. You can say something like this:
Hello, I am a constituent and am calling to support a bill.
It is Senate Bill 1052 by Senator Lara.
Would you please let the Senator know I called to urge a yes vote next week on SB 1052?
If the person on the phone asks why you support the bill or if you wish to make a statement, (usually they do not ask this) keep it short and simple. You can say something like:
This bill is fair for youth. We should make sure young people understand their rights.

More than 1 Million Signatures!

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

We did it! Congratulations to everyone who helped get more than one million signatures to put the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act on the November 2016 ballot. Grassroots efforts across the state pushed the petitions across the finish line by securing over 160,000 signatures. We could not have hit our goal without the volunteer effort and the help of people from all over the state.

The petitions were delivered to county registrars who will start the verification process. We’ll hear by the end of June whether the initiative has officially qualified. If all goes well, soon we can focus on passing it.

If passed, youth as young as 14 who are accused of crimes would have increased access to education and rehabilitative services. It would make judges, not prosecutors the decision-makers about young people’s lives. In addition, the initiative offers provisions intended to incentivize rehabilitation for adults in prison, including allowing increases in sentence credits for people who demonstrate good behavior and engage in rehabilitative programs. Read the text of the Act here. Learn more here.

The NEW Youth Offender Parole Guide

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Finally! The improved, updated Youth Offender Parole guide for people in prison and their friends, families and others who support them. Get yours here.