Fair Sentencing for Youth




Support SB 1052: MIRANDA RIGHTS FOR YOUTH! Write to the Governor. With our easy-to-use letters, it takes just a few minutes.

We just had a huge win in Sacramento: Both the Senate and the Assembly passed a bill about Miranda rights for youth. Thank you for your calls!

Now the fate of this important bill lies in the hands of Governor Brown. If he signs SB 1052, a youth under age 18 would get to consult with an attorney before giving up his or her Miranda rights. If he vetos, the bill is dead. Some law enforcement associations, like those for DAs and Police Chiefs, are working hard to try to stop this bill.

Think about it. Why would law enforcement oppose this bill?  Youth are supposed to have the same constitutional rights as adults. But young people need help in understanding what those rights mean before they give them up. Youth are usually alone, without a parent, attorney, or interested adult when the police read them their rights. This bill would change that.

You can help. Send a letter to Governor Brown. Get your friends and family to do the same!

Support California Senate Bill 1052. It is as simple as:

  1. Click here for several sample letters to choose from, then
  2. Print, sign, and send.

That’s it!

Want more info? Click here for a fact sheet on SB 1052. 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. The bill also provides guidance for courts in determining whether a youth’s Miranda waiver was made in a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent manner as required under existing law. Be a part of passing SB 1052!

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

READ a great artcile about SB 1052 and the 10-year-old boy who was an inspiration for the bill. 

Learn more about Prop 57!

Sign up to receive more information about Prop 57: The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act here!

The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act is an important step towards decreasing California’s prison population and changing a culture of incarceration. It would increase opportunities for rehabilitation for both children and adults. Governor Brown, Human Rights Watch, Californians for Safety and Justice, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, the Children’s Defense Fund, and many more organizations and individuals are joining forces to support this initiative.  In short, it would 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

Help Change California!

  • 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 every first and third Tuesday 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 to: (805) 399-1000, and use the code: 817682#
  • Be supported! Join CARES, a group of family and friends of youth. Learn more about CARES or go to www.caresforyouth.org
  • 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.