Asm. Jackson Introduces PROMYSE Act
Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson has introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 702, the Promoting Youth Success and Empowerment Act (PROMYSE Act), to support community-based youth development services in juvenile justice programs. The bill will reduce the involvement of law enforcement entities in these programs, by shifting resources to Community Based Organizations (CBO) and other non-law enforcement agencies, that provide trauma informed, restorative programs and services for youth impacted by the juvenile justice system.
In 2022, 63% of JJCPA funds were spent on probation salaries and benefits, with half of all California counties spending more than 70% of their JJCPA funds on probation salaries and benefits. Riverside County alone spent 15% more this past year on probation salaries and benefits than in 2021. The record low numbers of youth being referred to probation does not match the JJCPA allocation. Referrals to juvenile probation declined 66% between 2006 and 2020, with an additional 24.7% drop between 2020 and 2021.
According to Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson, “AB 702 (PROMYSE Act) will help ensure that our juvenile justice system is centered around the needs of our youth and their families, rather than punitive measures. By prioritizing community-based youth development services and increasing community representation in the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council (JJCC), we can create programs that promote healing and restoration for our at-promise youth.”
Co-sponsored and supported by a broad coalition of CBOs, AB 702 will require programs and strategies funded under these provisions to be modeled on healing-centered, restorative, trauma-informed, and positive youth development approaches in collaboration with community-based organizations. This bill recognizes the critical support and skills that CBOs bring, and the added value that in-community programming provides to not only prevent recidivism, but can address the needs and challenges that youth face in their neighborhoods. To increase the success of this supportive arm, this bill also requires no less than 95% of JJCPA funds to be allocated to community-based organizations and public agencies or departments that are not law enforcement entities. Programs such as those provided by Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) in Oakland include culturally-competent community healing work, youth leadership development programs catered to systems-impacted youth and young adults, life coaching, violence interruption work, build youth leaders and have shown to prevent violence, crime, and further re-entrenching youth in the criminal justice system.
Breon Hatcher, Leadership Development Programs Associate at CURYJ, and a formerly incarcerated youth who went through CURYJ programming before becoming an employee said, “Through CURYJ, I gained a deeper understanding of how the school-to-prison pipeline affected me directly, and the ways the system could have invested in building us up and giving us a pathway to flourish, rather than using $600k to incarcerate a youth. Being a part of CURYJ, I am able to turn my pain into healing by reimagining how the system works,”
Organizations such as SBX Youth & Family Services provide a variety of programs and services to youth and their families in the Inland Empire. Their prevention and intervention programs offered to young people are restorative, culturally focused, trauma-informed and youth-centered. These include mentoring programs, restorative justice programming, youth civic engagement initiatives, and culturally focused programs that build cultural and historical appreciation of self while also establishing confidence in identity.
Jessica Aparicio, Director of Engagement & Social Impact from SBX Youth & Family Services, also expressed support for the bill, stating that “AB 702 (PROMYSE Act) is a step in the right direction towards creating a more just and equitable juvenile justice system. By promoting healing-centered, restorative, trauma-informed, and positive youth development approaches, we can create programs that empower our youth and their families to thrive rather than continue to punish them.”
Furthermore, AB 702 (PROMYSE Act) requires the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council (JJCC) of each county to provide annual, data-driven reports to the Counties Board of Supervisors and the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) relating to their programs. AB 702 (PROMYSE Act) has been referred to the Committee on Public Safety and is set to be reviewed on Tuesday, April 25.