Fair Sentencing for Youth



Take Action

SB 261 is moving forward! But, we have hard work ahead to pass it in the Assembly. Help out.

We are so close, but…without help, SB 261 could fail. We need letters to every Assembly Member!

Senate Bill 261 (Hancock) would build on the capacity of young people to turn their lives around and not be defined by the worst thing they have ever done. Recognizing that young people age 18 to 23 deserve a second chance, SB 261 would extend the existing youth offender parole process to young adults sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Please join us in supporting this important bill. Write a letter to your Assembly Member. 

Here is a fact sheet about the SB 261, and you can read the SB 261 bill text here.

Read a piece by Newt Gingrich supporting SB 261.

Let’s stop sending so many youth to adult court. Support SB 382!

SB 382 passed in both the Senate and the Assembly. It is now on the governor’s desk, awaiting his decision!

If you support sending fewer youth to the adult system, send a letter now to Governor Brown. Or, just call (916) 445-2841 and leave a message for the governor saying:

“I support SB 382. Please sign it into law.”

California sends some young people to adult court to face adult prison terms. One way youth get sent to the adult system is in a fitness hearing, where a judge makes the decision. SB 382 would change California law and  improve the criteria judges use to make this decision. If you believe the adult criminal system is for adults, help pass SB 382 so that judges have the tools to make carefully considered decisions.

Do you know a young person who was treated like an adult? Were you or someone you loved “fitnessed up” to criminal court? Can you imagine how horrible it is for a young person to get an adult sentence? Then act with us now. Read this piece by  Elizabeth Calvin in the Sacramento Bee about why our laws should be reformed.

Read the SB 382 fact sheet here.

Use these sample letters to print and sign! There are six different letters, each with different perspectives. You can choose which fits you…and get your friends and family to sign them, too!

Or, use this sample letter to personalize a letter to the Governor.

Read the bill  here.


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.