PRESS RELEASE: EDUCATIONAL FORUM BRINGS TOGETHER PROBATION, JUVENILE JUSTICE AND EDUCATIONAL EXPERTS TO DISCUSS SOLUTIONS FOR JUSTICE-INVOLVED JUVENILES TO ACCESS HIGHER EDUCATION AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Pomona, Calif. – May 8, 2023 – The Prison Education Program (PEP), The Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC), and Office of Youth and Community Restoration (OYCR) hosted a half-day educational forum at Cal Poly Pomona last Friday, May 5th. Panel presentations focused on how to provide academic and life-skills to juveniles and young adults in the justice system, as well as information about vocational training and higher education opportunities.
Attendees from organizations such as CPOC, OYCR, Department of Rehabilitation, Rising Scholars, and Project Rebound shared ways to provide educational resources to justice-involved youth, especially in the context of the SB 823-DJJ Realignment.
“We strongly believe that education is a powerful tool that can liberate and change lives, which is why we remain committed to supporting youth and families through programs like Just Us 4 Youth,” said Eric Vasquez, Founder and Executive Director of Just Us 4 Youth. “At the heart of our work is a commitment to equity, where everyone has equal access to opportunities and resources.”
At the forum, Dr. Renford Reese, Cal Poly Pomona Professor of Political Science and founder of the Prison Education Project (PEP), shared his expertise on creating and implementing academic programs for individuals in prison and formerly incarcerated. In addition to founding PEP, Dr. Reese also runs Project Rebound at Cal Poly Pomona, a support program for formerly incarcerated students.
During the event, attendees heard from PEP, which highlighted its program utilizing university student and faculty volunteers to teach courses in county juvenile facilities. DJJ shared how it served this population in its facilities and established programs over its many years of operation. California Community Colleges and Rising Scholars discussed how it can provide an educational “’warm hand-off and transition”’ to youth after they are released on probation and supervised in the community, and how the program can partner with probation to access community college for youth in juvenile detention facilities. California State Universities and Project Rebound shared available opportunities for higher education after youth complete their Associates Degree whether in custody or on probation supervision. The Department of Rehabilitation shared information on financial support resources for all county juvenile youth who want to pursue a vocation such as truck driving school or higher education. Finally, the Office of Youth and Community Restoration (OYCR) highlighted areas where it can provide support to county probation departments post June 30, 2023, after DJJ has closed.
The forum was organized in response to SB 823, which authorized the state to shut down the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) that had supervised juveniles and young adults with the most complex challenges and specialized treatment needs. The youth and young adults are transitioning to local counties across the state, which will be completed by June 30, 2023.
The Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC), is an association of all 58 counties with a shared identity as law enforcement leaders. CPOC is committed to a research-based approach to public safety that promotes positive behavior change. Their leadership guides policy and practice in the areas of prevention, community-based corrections, secure detention for youth and direct human services. CPOC’s goal is to prevent crime and delinquency, reduce recidivism, restore victims and promote healthy families and communities.
For more information about CPOC, visit www.cpoc.org or follow us on Twitter @CPOC_Probation
Media Contact: Laura Dixon firstname.lastname@example.org 510-384-3020
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The Chief Probation Officers of California, are an association of all 58 counties with a shared identity as law enforcement leaders. We are committed to a research-based approach to public safety that promotes positive behavior change. Our leadership guides policy and practice in the areas of prevention, community-based corrections, secure detention and direct human services. Our goal is to prevent crime and delinquency, reduce recidivism, restore victims and promote healthy families and communities. We proudly serve our Counties and Courts.