SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order that addresses the release and reentry process at the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so that eligible youth serving time at DJJ can be discharged safely and expeditiously.
The executive order calls for all discharge and reentry hearings to be held via videoconference to minimize the youth’s and other participants’ exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, notification given to county probation departments, the court in the county of commitment, and the youth’s legal counsel will be shortened from 60 days to 30 days before holding a discharge consideration hearing. The discharge hearing is conducted by the Board of Juvenile Hearings.
The order also allows for reentry consideration hearings—which are held in the court of commitment after approval of discharge consideration hearings—to take place at the DJJ facility where the youth are housed, instead of transferring youth to a county jail to await these hearings.
This new timeframe does not impact victim notification, as they already receive a 30-day notice. Victims and victim representatives will be able to participate in the videoconference hearings.
On March 24, Governor Newsom signed an executive order temporarily halting the intake of youth offenders into DJJ in response to COVID-19 efforts.
A copy of the Governor’s executive order can be found here.
Learn more about the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts here. Visit covid19.ca.gov for critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy, and resources available to those impacted by the outbreak.