Fair Sentencing for Youth





These three bills have all passed by the state legislature, but they need the Governor’s signature to become law.

SB 395: Protecting Youth in Police Custody

In California, children—no matter how young—can make the decision to give up their rights and submit to police interrogation. This bill would require youth be given the chance to talk to an attorney before they waive their constitutional rights in a situation of custodial interrogation by the police.

Click here for sample letters of support to Governor Brown and more info!  WATCH a moving short video showing how police interrogated a 13-year-old. 

SB 394: Life in prison without parole for children?! Yes, California does that. It’s time to stop it.

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 this sample letter to personalize, or print and sign one of these simple letters to show your support to Governor Brown.

AB 1308: 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 the Governor! Here are easy-to-use sample letters to Governor Brown.


  • 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.


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