Youth Justice

Youth Justice Reform

In 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 823, a new law that led to the closure of youth prisons in California and transferred all responsibility for young people involved in the justice system to local counties. In response to SB 823, Sacramento County created a Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council Subcommittee, which has the responsibility of developing the county’s implementation plan. The County is currently receiving significant new funding from the state for this effort.

Toward a Healing-Centered System

Youth Forward is currently coordinating an effort with Sac Kids First partners to improve the youth justice system. We would like to see a system centered on a partnership between Sacramento County Probation Department and youth-serving community-based organizations, with a primary focus on supporting prevention, healing, and safe re-entry. We believe that a significant amount of the new funding received by Sacramento County should be invested in youth-serving organizations that are best equipped to help young people transition out of the juvenile justice system back into the local community.


In 2018, Youth Forward led an effort with city and county officials that led to the expungement of criminal records for past marijuana convictions of over 5,000 Sacramentans. From that effort grew the Justice2Jobs Coalition, a community power-building project that rejects criminal punishment and bureaucracy and advocates for the creation of humane systems. We convene and catalyze the Sacramento region’s legal, economic, and anti-criminalizing policy reform community. We use criminal records repair and other restorative practices to center the voices of those with lived experience. We look at justice systemically—excavate and report facts, interrogate processes, and create solutions for healthy, equitable, and inclusive neighborhoods.

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