Fair Sentencing for Youth

 

   

ACT!

MIRANDA RIGHTS FOR YOUTH! Support SB 395 with a letter.

Protecting the Rights of Children and Youth in Police Custody

Letters of support are needed for this important bill. Click here for sample letters of support and more info!

In California, children—no matter how young—can waive their rights. This bill would require youth be given the chance to consult with legal counsel before they waive their constitutional rights in a situation of custodial interrogation by the police.

WATCH a moving short video showing how police interrogated a 13-year-old. 

 

Life in prison without parole for children?! Yes, California does that. It’s time to stop it. Send a letter now!

Life without parole is nothing short of a sentence to die in prison. No other country in the world uses this sentence with children. It’s time for California to change its laws. Support SB 394 and bring an end to the use of life without parole sentences for people under the age of 18.

Read a short factsheet describing the bill here.

Use a sample letter with instructions on how to personalize it for your the chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee here and Governor Brown here. Or, use quick and easy form letters here, where you just pick one, print, sign and send!

 

Expand Youth Offender Parole to Young People through ages 14 through 25 years old!

Help us pass AB 1308, a bill that would extend Youth Offender Parole to people who were up to age 25 at the time of a crime for which they were sentenced to a long prison term. Read the bill here.  Send a letter now to your Assembly Member, Senator, and the Governor! Here are easy-to-use letters.  AB 1308 sample support letters.

And, Prop 57: Read about it and give your opinion.

Here’s a presentation, Making Our Voices Heard on Prop 57 Regulations , on how to submit your comments, a description of what we expect the regulations will be, and Prop 57 Regulations Sample Letter with Instructions 3-24-17.

The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act is an important step towards decreasing California’s prison population and changing a culture of incarceration. It will increase opportunities for rehabilitation for both children and adults. Many more organizations and individuals joined forces to support this initiative.  In short, it will do the following:

  • Put in the hands of judges, not prosecutors, the decision of whether children as young as 14 are sent to the adult criminal justice system.
  • Require judges to weigh all circumstances of a youth’s life before denying them the rehabilitation programs of the juvenile justice system and charging them as an adult.
  • Authorize parole consideration for people with nonviolent convictions who complete the full sentence of their offense.
  • Incentivize completion of rehabilitation, treatment, and education programs by people in prison.

Read the Act: The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016

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STAY IN TOUCH!

  • Be informed! Keep checking back here for updates and news. Sign up for updates right here (upper right, blue box.) We will soon be announcing important bills California is considering this year!
  • Be active! We are working on making sure the Youth Offender Parole (SB 260 and 261) process is going right. We are participating in the regulation-making process for Youth Offender Parole, and invite you to help with this, too. Watch for alerts on ways you can be involved. California has a chance to dramatically change its justice system.  JOIN US! Click here to get occasional updates, learn more, and get involved!
  • Be educated! Join us most first and third Tuesdays of the month for a telephone call meeting for family members and friends of youth sentenced to adult prison terms. It’s an hour of sharing and learning, and everyone is welcome to attend! Just call in at 8pm: Call: (515) 604-9384 Code: 313882#
  • Be supported! Join CARES, a group of family and friends of youth. Learn more about CARES or go to www.caresforyouth.org
  • Be in dialogue! Learn more about Healing Dialogue and Action here.
  • Be cool! Sign up for tweets and get occasional text messages on these important issues. You don’t need a “smart phone.” Just send a text message to the number 40404, and the text: follow fairsentencing   It’s free, although your regular text charges will apply.