SB 823 (DJJ Realignment)
How can I provide input on the new local secure rehabilitation program?
Senate Bill 823 closes the California Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the state system that currently houses and treats youth who have committed the most serious crimes. Now, those youth will be housed and treated locally.
Hosted by: County of Santa Clara Probation Department
Facilitated by: MIG
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – 4:30 to 6:30 PM (Open to the General Public)
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 – 5:00 to 7:00 PM (Open to Youth/Young Adults - under 25 years of age)
Monday, April 12, 2021 – 5:00 to 7:00 PM (In Spanish/En Español)
Topic: DJJ Community Forum #3 (Spanish)
Time: Apr 12, 2021 05:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 920 7265 7725
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What is Senate Bill (SB) 823?
It is the intent of the Legislature to close the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), within the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, effective July 1, 2021. Commencing July 1, 2021, the responsibility for all youth adjudged a ward of the court will be shifted to county governments. The state will be providing annual funding for county governments to fulfill this new responsibility.
Beginning July 1, 2021, a youth shall not be committed to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, DJJ. Youth who would have previously been eligible for DJJ commitments must generally remain under the care and custody of the local probation department, except for a limited population of youth who meet specified criteria. Youth committed to DJJ before July 1, 2021 may remain there until discharged, released, or otherwise moved pursuant to law.
At the state level, SB 823 presents an opportunity for local probation departments to create a local secure rehabilitation program, as well as other interventions, that meet the specific and individualized needs of youth and young adults who would have previously been housed at regional centers operated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, DJJ. In Santa Clara County, youth who would previously have been committed to DJJ, will now remain closer to their families and communities, and participate in a secure rehabilitation program operated by the Probation Department in collaboration with the Behavioral Health Services Department.
Significantly, SB 823 extends the age of local juvenile court jurisdiction to 23 or 25, as specified. It also repealed certain provisions that allowed youth to be detained in adult facilities. Instead, SB 823 requires any person whose case originated in juvenile court to remain, if detained, in a county juvenile facility until they turn 25 years of age, except as specified. However, probation departments may petition the juvenile court to transfer a person 19 years or older to an adult facility.
SB 823 increases protections to prevent youth transfers to the adult criminal system.
- Local Juv. Court Jurisdiction Extends to Age 23, or 25 (W.I.C. §607)
- Local Juv. Facility Confinement Age Increased to 25 (W.I.C. §208.5)
- Extends DJJ Intake for Transfer Cases (W.I.C. §736.5)
SB 823 also creates a new statewide oversight body in the Office of Youth and Community Restoration (OYCR) within the California Health and Human Services Agency. The mission of the OYCR will be “to promote trauma responsive, culturally informed services for youth involved in the juvenile justice system…” OYCR, which will oversee the transition of youth from state to local custody, will have oversight of the block grant funding for SB 823, statewide data collection, research, best practices and technical assistance, the creation of an ombudsman position with investigatory powers, and will have responsibility for all juvenile justice grant funding by January 1, 2025.
The Judicial Council is working with the Legislature to ensure that the state has a new dispositional track for high needs youth. (W.I.C. §736.5)
How will SB 823 funds be distributed to counties?
The Legislature has provided an initial three-year plan for annual funding to counties for the purpose of providing housing and services to youth who previously would have been committed to DJJ. SB 823 uses a cost-reimbursement model to allocate funding to probation departments via an annual realignment block grant, with statewide allocations increasing each fiscal year (FY): in FY 2021-2022, $40 million; in FY 2022-23, $188 million; and, in FY 2023-24, $192 million. Again, under the current legislation this funding can only be drawn down in a cost-reimbursement model.
The by-county distribution will be based on the following:
- 50% of the by-county distribution of juveniles adjudicated for certain violent and serious felony crime categories per 2018 Juvenile Court and Probation Statistical System data (which will be updated annually based on the most recently available data); and
- 30% of the per-county percentage of the average number of wards committed to DJJ, as of December 31, 2018, June 30, 2019, and December 31, 2019; and
- 20% of the by-county distribution of all individuals between 10 and 17 years of age, inclusive, from the preceding calendar year.
To be eligible for funding, each county must form a subcommittee of its juvenile justice coordinating council (JJCC) that must develop and submit a plan to the OYCR by January 1, 2022. In addition to requiring inclusion of specified justice system partners on the subcommittee, the legislation provides that no fewer than three community members must participate in the subcommittee. Community members are defined as individuals who have experience providing community-based youth services, youth justice advocates with expertise and knowledge of the juvenile justice system, or individuals who have been directly involved in the juvenile justice system.
Who can be ordered into the new local program?
Youth who were previously eligible to be committed to DJJ will be eligible for the new local program. The youth must be adjudicated and found to be a ward of the court based on an offense listed in subdivision (b) of Section 707 (primarily serious or violent offenses) or PC 290.008, and the 707(b) offense is their most recent offense. The youth must be deemed unsuitable by the court for a less restrictive alternative setting.
Who is currently at DJJ?
- Between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2019 (CY2015-2019), 54 unduplicated youth were placed at DJJ.
- Most DJJ youth are male (91%), ages 17 to 18 years old (59%), and Latino (78%).
- Only 20 youth (37%) had a previous Ranch history, 11 of those youth exited their last Ranch placement successfully (55%); and
- For the 10 youth who have exited from DJJ during this time frame, the average length of time at DJJ was one year and seven months.
These youth are eligible to remain at DJJ until their commitment term ends, or facility closes, whichever occurs first.
What are the needs of youth currently at DJJ?
Prior to a youth being committed to DJJ by the Court, they have been assessed by the Probation Department using the Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System (JAIS). The needs below are from the 54 youth that were committed to DJJ between 2015-2019 and are being used as a guide in the development of the new local program.
- 86% have behavioral health needs including, depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and impulse control.
- 63% have needs related to building and maintaining pro-social relationships, meaning that their peer group is negative, delinquent and/or abusive.
- 59% have chronic parental or family problems.
- 48% have substance use issues that contribute to the youth’s legal difficulties; and
- Only 17% of youth at DJJ have significant criminal orientation, described as criminal behavior being an acceptable and a common part of the youth’s life.
As new youth are committed by the Court to the local program, they will be assessed, and services will be provided based on their individual needs.
Who are the members of the JJCC Subcommittee?
- Chief Probation Officer, as chair
- District Attorney’s Office
- Public Defenders Office
- Department of Social Services
- Department of Mental Health
- County Office of Education or a School District
- Representative from the Court
- Five (5) community members - who shall be defined as individuals who have experience providing community-based youth services, youth justice advocates with expertise and knowledge of the juvenile justice system or have been directly involved in the juvenile justice system.
- Specifically, two (2) of the five (5) membership seats are reserved for young people with lived experience in a detention/custodial setting such as juvenile hall, ranch or DJJ who are age 27 or under and, at appointment, have completed probation or parole. The subcommittee will also include justice system, education, and behavioral health stakeholders.
How can I apply to participate in the JJCC Subcommittee?
The County of Santa Clara invites members of the community to apply to serve on a subcommittee to help inform the creation of a program for youth who would have previously resided at Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, DJJ, but will now be in the care of the County of Santa Clara Probation Department. The DJJ will no longer be accepting most youth into its program starting July 1, 2021. Instead, these youth will remain locally in a secure rehabilitation program. We are seeking five (5) community members who have experience providing community-based services to youth, are youth justice advocates with expertise and knowledge of the juvenile justice system or are young adults who have been directly involved in the juvenile justice system. Specifically, two (2) of the five (5) membership seats are reserved for young people with lived experience in a detention/custodial setting, such as juvenile hall, ranch or DJJ, who are age 27 or under and, at appointment, have completed probation or parole. The subcommittee will also include justice system, education, and behavioral health stakeholders. All are encouraged to apply! Applications are due by March 26, 2021 at 5pm.
Membership Application Link : Membership Application Link (sccgov.org)
What are the goals of the new local program?
With the juvenile justice system stakeholders, the Probation Department has developed the following goals for the new local program. However, these are in draft form and will be subject to change, based on feedback received from the community forums and input at public meetings throughout the development process.
- Appropriately hold youth accountable for their actions that harm individuals and community
- Maintain and/or strengthen connections to family
- Provide evidenced-based programs based on youth needs
- Community engagement and natural supports
- Provide services and supports for youth to successfully return to community
- An emphasis on developmentally appropriate and trauma-informed care for youth
- Address social and structural inequities leading to the disproportionate number of youths of color in system