Economic Justice, Education Equity

PROMYSE: Promoting Youth Success and Empowerment Act (Bradford) (SB 493)

Held

The PROMYSE (Promoting Youth Success and Empowerment) Act will ensure the effective investment of Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) grant dollars, which are intended to support youth locally and limit involvement in the justice system.

For the past twenty years, the state has spent approximately $100 million annually on the JJCPA grant program without adequate oversight or accountability, resulting in poor spending decisions. The majority of JJCPA funds have been spent on probation department staffing with most counties spending little to none on community organizations who have on-the-ground experience in supporting youth. A recent state audit found that many of the programs that received JJCPA funding failed to address youths’ needs and their reports did not track the program’s effectiveness.

Youth arrests have declined by over 95 percent between 2000 and 2018, leaving far more vulnerable youth whose needs can only be met in the community. Over this time period, there have been massive declines in youth contact with probation – we need to fund programs that meet the needs of youth in our communities.

SB 493 (Bradford) would invest in public health, education, and community organizations providing on-the-ground support. With SB 493, we can ensure state funds no longer prop up a system that has consistently failed youth and communities of color. Instead, we can invest in youth development and equity.

This legislation will:

  • Reform Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council requirements to ensure equitable (at least 50 percent) community representation in improved decision-making processes.
  •  Require counties to distribute at least 95 percent of allotted JJCPA funds to CBOs and/or public agencies that are non-law enforcement agencies.
  • Strengthen county reporting and evaluations by the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) by including critical evidence such as youth served and program effectiveness.

SB 493 is sponsored by the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, ACLU California Action, Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), Bend the Arc, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Children’s Defense Fund – California, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, MILPA Collective, National Center for Youth Law, Urban Peace Institute, W. Haywood Burns Institute, and Youth Justice Coalition.