While visiting a youth correctional facility in Stockton on Tuesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his administration will begin legislation to move the California Division of Juvenile Justice out of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (the same agency that oversees adult prisons) and into the Health and Human Services Agency.
Currently, 20 states place juvenile justice under their health or child welfare agencies, 18 have independent juvenile justice agencies, and 11 (including California) place it under corrections agencies, according to the Chronicle of Social Change.
Officials from both the Department of Corrections and Health and Human Services said Newsom’s proposal signals a wider cultural change in California’s handling of youth in the prison system, focusing on prevention and treatment through educational, mental health, and social services in place of detention, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Today is the beginning of the end of juvenile imprisonment as we know it,” Newsom said in a statement. “Juvenile justice should be about helping kids imagine and pursue new lives—not jump-starting the revolving door of the criminal justice system. The system should be helping these kids unpack trauma and adverse experiences many have suffered.”…