Fair Sentencing for Youth



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Great news! SB 261 is now law!!

On October 3, 2015, Governor Brown signed SB 261 into law, extending Youth Offender Parole up to age 23. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen. People across the state are filled with gratitude, joy and hope at this news.

Thousands of young adults in California prisons now have a real chance at coming home. Senate Bill 261 recognizes that young people deserve a second chance. It builds on the capacity of young people to turn their lives around and not be defined by the worst thing they have ever done. 

Here is some information about SB 261, and you can read the SB 261 bill text here.

For more information about Youth Offender Parole, please download the SB 260 Guide on our homepage.

Read a piece by Newt Gingrich supporting SB 261.

SB 382 was signed into law!!!

Thanks to everyone who sent letters and made calls, SB 382 is now law.  You are advocates for youth who face adult court.

This new law is the first time in over 40 years California changed its laws about transferring youth to the adult criminal system in a way that could reduce rather increase the number of youth tried as adults. It is an important step toward treating young people right.

California sends some young people to adult court to face adult prison terms. One way youth get sent to adult court is through a fitness hearing, where a judge makes the decision. SB 382 changes California law and  improves the criteria judges use to make this decision.

Passage of SB 382 is important, but only a first step. Read these thoughts in the Sacramento Bee on some possible next steps and why our laws should be reformed.

Read the new law  here.  SB 382 will go into effect January 1, 2016, but lawyers representing youth are arguing it should apply sooner.


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 process under SB 260 is going right. We will participate in the regulation-making process for SB 260, and invite you to help with this, too. Watch for alerts on ways you can be 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.