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SUPPORT SB 284: discourages counties from sending juveniles to the state correctional facilities

Support SB 284: the Keep Youth Closer to Home Act

by Youth ALIVE! | 4.27.19

Support SB 284, the Keep Youth Closer to Home Act, which will spur local innovation and reduce county incentives to send youth to the troubled state youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), by increasing the fee counties pay for youth committed to the state.

This Act encourages counties to keep youth closer to home by increasing the county cost of state confinement to $125,000. The actual yearly cost to house a youth at the DJJ averages more than $300,000, yet counties only pay $24,000. Local placement encourages family involvement and is more effective in rehabilitating youth.

Sending our youth to DJJ hurts our communities and does not make us safer. DJJ is costly, dangerous, and inherently ineffective at rehabilitating youth. The facilities’ harsh, prison-like conditions exacerbate underlying needs and expose youth to the trauma of family separation. Deficiencies in the DJJ model are apparent in the institution’s high rate of recidivism: 74 percent of youth are rearrested within three years of release, 54 percent are reconvicted for a new offense, and 37 percent return to a state institution.

SB 284 presents California with an important opportunity to promote best practices for effective rehabilitation, reduce recidivism, and minimize county reliance on the harmful DJJ institutions by creating an incentive for retaining youth closer to home.

Youth ALIVE!

Written by Youth ALIVE!

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