MEDIA STATEMENT: Signature of AB 505 Undoes Important Juvenile Justice Reforms and Undermines the Delivery of Essential Direct Services to Youth and Young Adults
AB 505 erodes important systemic changes and undermines the delivery of essential direct services to the high-needs youth and young adults recently returned to our communities.
Sacramento, Calif., October 9, 2023 – The Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) today issued a statement in response to the Governor’s signature on Assembly Bill 505. CPOC President Chief Jennifer Branning issued the following statement:
“We are disappointed by the Governor’s decision to sign AB 505, a bill which passed the Legislature by the slimmest of margins, as the bill undoes important juvenile justice reforms implemented pursuant to a recent agreement between the legislature, the Governor, probation, and Juvenile Justice Advocates. Worse still, the bill continues a disturbing trend of failing juveniles and young adults in California by placing unnecessary state bureaucratic hurdles in the way of locally provided direct supports and services to the highest-needs youth and young adults returned to our communities. The bill compounds the harmful effect of a series of missteps made by the state since the closure of DJJ facilities, all of which are placing surmounting burdens on our communities and the service providers working with these young adults. AB 505 not only removes the local control promised through the passage of SB 823, but it also gives authority back to a state bureaucracy undermining local accountability, oversight, and functionality.
CPOC and county probation departments throughout the state have a long and commendable history of successfully innovating and implementing real and workable reforms and providing necessary supports and services to system-involved youth, young adults, and adults as well as for the communities in which they live. While we remain hopeful about the potential for successful system reforms in the future, AB 505 represents a considerable setback as it places youth, young adults, and communities in enhanced danger by overlooking the valuable insights of probation service experts when returning the most serious 18-25-year-olds into our communities.
The consequences of failure in this space are severe and we look forward to engaging in next-step conversations with the Governor and the Legislature to address necessary changes to the law thereby ensuring that youth, emerging adults, adults, and the communities we serve continue to get the integral supports and services needed.
Regardless of the limitations imposed by this short-sighted measure, communities can rest assured that Probation Departments across the state are dedicated to community safety and ending the cycle of crime and are committed to making the SB 823 transition work for the juveniles, young adults, and communities we serve.”
For more information about CPOC, please go to www.cpoc.org.
Media Contact: Laura Dixon email@example.com 510-384-3020
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