Governor Newsom Announces his Intention to End Juvenile Imprisonment in California as We Know It

Speaking to young people participating in job training programs at a California youth correctional facility, Governor Newsom announced his intention to move the Division of Juvenile Justice out of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

STOCKTON — Surrounded by students at O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his Administration will begin working with the Legislature to remove the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Joined by state and local leaders as well as childhood development experts, Governor Newsom praised the students at the facility who are working to develop job skills and start careers through apprenticeship and coding programs, as well as the staff who are helping youth address the behaviors that brought them to DJJ. He lifted up the programs as models for what the future of juvenile justice in California should look like.

“Today is the beginning of the end of juvenile imprisonment as we know it,” said Governor Newsom. “Juvenile justice should be about helping kids imagine and pursue new lives — not jumpstarting the revolving door of the criminal justice system. The system should be helping these kids unpack trauma and adverse experiences many have suffered. And like all youth in California, those in our juvenile justice system should have the chance to get an education and develop skills that will allow them to succeed in our economy.”

Governor Newsom’s juvenile justice reform proposals are part of his broader “California for All” agenda — all of which are based on his belief that the California Dream should be accessible to everyone, not just the privileged few. The Governor proposed $2 million in his budget to provide matching funds for a California/AmeriCorps federal grant, which will support 40 half-time AmeriCorps members in organizations assisting youth released from the Division of Juvenile Justice. His budget also includes more than $100 million for screenings for adverse childhood experiences and early childhood trauma, and developmental screenings — early interventions that help keep kids out of the criminal justice system.

Joining Governor Newsom on his visit to O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility was Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, a leading advocate in the state for criminal justice reform, and Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, incoming California Surgeon General. Dr. Burke Harris, an expert in pediatric medicine, has dedicated her professional career to understanding the link between adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress in youth. She will help lead the Newsom Administration’s efforts to raise awareness around these issues in communities across the state and advocate for early interventions that can help transform young people’s futures.