Fair Sentencing for Youth

 

   

Stand up for kids. YOUR Reps in Sacramento need to hear from YOU. Take two minutes, and sign a letter in support of SB 1391!

An important bill that seeks to overturn California’s law permitting 14- and 15-year-olds to be sent to adult court and face adult prison terms cleared a hurdle April 3 when it passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee with five yes votes and one no. When it came time for those in the audience to express support, more than three-quarters of the room stood and lined up for the mic in a strong show of support for protecting youth from the harm of incarceration and being tried as adults.  During the hearing, Senator Bradford addressed the representatives of the several law enforcement associations that opposed the bill, “If this was your 14- or 15-year-old, what options would you want for them? And I guarantee you wouldn’t want them in an adult court, you wouldn’t want them in an adult prison, and I stake my life on that,” and announced his support for the bill.He went on to say, “…[A]gain, these are black and brown kids who are being suffered and being sent to prison like this… [T]hey belong in a juvenile court, not in an adult court, not in adult prison and… as Senator Lara stated, let’s talk about the trauma that has impacted many of these young folks who are on the wrong path.  What has happened in the home, what has happened in the community? …[S]tudies… have shown some kids from 12 to 14 have the same symptoms as individuals that have gone to war, because of the trauma and violence they see in their communities. To sit here and say they are ready to go to adult prison, I just find that absurd and I would strongly support this bill and I hope I can be added as a co-author to this measure as well, and only ask for more common-sense legislation as we move forward.”As common-sense as this bill seems, the law enforcement opposition means it will have a difficult time being passed if senators and assembly members do not hear from people. It will be heard next on April 23rd in the Appropriations Committee. This is the time to act, and to tell your Senator and Assembly Member that they must support this bill! Head over to the Take Action page to sign letters in support of SB 1391, it will take two minutes out of your day.Spread the word about SB 1391 and help us protect the lives of 14- and 15-year-old children.