Fair Sentencing for Youth



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News Archive

PASSED! A bill giving parole hearings to youth serving life without parole!

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Youth sentenced to die in prison will instead get the possibility of parole if Governor Brown signs SB 394 into law. Click here to urge the Governor to sign this important bill!

PASSED! Bill to Protect Children in Police Custody!

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

SB 395 passed in the California legislature on Sepetember 15th, and now needs the Governor’s signature. Click here to get a sample letter to send and learn more!

PASSED! Youth Offender Bill to Extend Eligiblity to Age 25

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

The California State Senate passed a bill that would extend Youth Offender Parole through age 25. The bill can be read here. It now heads to the Governor, and if he signs it, it will become law. The governor has 30 days within which to sign or veto the bill. Click here and get sample letter to ask the Governor to sign this bill. Some 3,000 people in prison are estimated to be eligible for the opportunities offered by Youth Offender Parole. To learn more about how Youth Offender Parole works and who is eligible under current law, go to our home page and request the guide.

Activist. Wife. Leader. Hear Taina Vargas-Edmond talk about how to protect the promise of Prop 57

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

CARES for Youth welcomes Taina Vargas-Edmond as our guest on the CARES Family and Friends Call. Join us! Tuesday, August 1st at 8 pm. All are welcome! Call: (515) 604-9384;  Code: 313882#

Ms. Vargas-Edmond co-leads Initiate Justice with her currently incarcerated husband, Richard, (at left) working to engage people in prison and their loved ones on Proposition 57 implementation. Tonight she will talk about Prop. 57 and what it means for people inside, their families, and communities. She’ll describe how you can get involved. There will be time for questions and answers, too.

Taina Vargas-Edmond is the Founder & Executive Director of Initiate Justice, a policy-driven organization created by and for people directly impacted by mass incarceration. Prior to founding Initiate Justice, she worked as the Statewide Advocacy Coordinator with Essie Justice Group, State Campaigner with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and as a Field Representative for the California State Assembly. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from California State University, Northridge.

Watch this short video and learn how to give comments on Prop 57 Regulations! There’s limited time to act!

Monday, July 24th, 2017

Proposed Regulations for Prop 57 are out! There are just 45 days to comment.

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Join us Tuesday July 18th at 8pm for a phone-based workshop to learn about the regs and how you can comment! We’ll hear from Heidi Rummel, USC School of Law Professor, and Rourke Stacy, Trainer, Los Angeles Public Defender. Join the call to get the very latest news on the Proposition 57 regulations and learn how you can weigh in. Under California law, the public must be allowed to give input on proposed regulations, but there are only 45 days to do so. THE TIME IS NOW. The 45 day period for public comments began July 14th and will end September 1st. If you have a loved one whose life might be affected by Prop 57, your opinion is important.

 Take advantage of this workshop and learn about what the proposed regulations say, and how to become a part of shaping them. Professor Rummel and Ms. Stacy will describe in detail the regulations, problems with how they’re written, and how you can give your thoughts to the administration.

The links below are materials for use the night of the call! If you can, be ready to view the slide presentation on your computer or phone (or print it) during the call.

Click to open:

Making Our Voices Heard: Slide presentation

AB 1308 Sample Support Letters

 Everyone is welcome. Just call in at 8:00pm! Call: (515) 604-9384 Code: 313882#

Senate passes youth life without parole bill, moving CA one step closer to ending the sentence for youth!

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

On May 30th, the California Senate passed SB 394, the “Montgomery Bill.” It now heads to the State Assembly, where it will need to survive two committees and a vote of the full Senate to become law. If it does become law, people sentenced to life without parole for crimes that happened under age 18 will have a chance at parole starting in the 25th year of incarceration. Click here to act!

Prop 57 Proposed Regs are out!

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

CDCR released their proposed regulations for Prop 57: Prop 57 Emerg Regs.

They are “emergency regulations,” which means they will go into effect quickly and will be in use while the permanent regulations go through the formal vetting process, including a 45-day public comment period. Learn more about what is in the regs and how you can participate in the public comment period: Download this Prop 57 Slideshow PDF. There you’ll  get an overview of the process and a description of the content of the emergency regulations. Here’s a  Prop 57 Regulations Sample Letter with Instructions 3-24-17 to use to weigh in!

The emergency regulations can stay in effect for 180 days. We can expect that prior to the end of that period the permanent regulation rule-making process will occur, and during that time there will be a minimum 45-day period for written public comments. There will also be public hearings. As people who care about this issue, we should weigh in at every chance. Stay tuned to learn about other deadlines, public hearings, and more.



TAKE ACTION NOW: Speak Up on Prop 57 Regs by Sept. 1! And, Support Two Bills on the Rights of Children and Youth!

Friday, March 10th, 2017

There are three important ways to take action right now:

1. Support SB 394 by writing a letter of support to your assembly member, and help end life without parole for youth under age 18;
2. Support SB 395 by writing a letter of support to your assembly member and Governor Brown, and protect Miranda rights for youth; and
3. Give your opinion on Prop 57 Regulations by September 1st, 2017 at 5:00 pm. There’s more info and sample letters here.



Monday, January 2nd, 2017

On Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 2pm you’re invited to attend in person in West Los Angeles (or by video conference from any smart phone) a meeting to hear about the history of work to end the use of life without parole sentences for youth, next steps this year, and discussion of possible future efforts to stop the use of LWOP for young adults. Elizabeth Calvin of Human Rights Watch and others, including Joel, who was sentenced to LWOP at age 17 and is now out, will make presentations and lead the discussion. Step by step, we will make progress. Everyone is welcome. RSVP is required: Write to Mana or call her at 310-477-5540 to let us know if you would like to attend, and you’ll get instructions on where and how.