Juvenile Justice Realignment in 2012

The purpose of this publication is to recommend a full juvenile justice realignment plan in the 2012-13 budget cycle. The Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) budget triggers implemented on January 1, 2012, highlight the unsustainable costs of maintaining a dual juvenile justice system in California. DJF’s current recidivism rate of 80% and continued scrutiny under the Farrell lawsuit both demonstrate the limited success the state has at rehabilitating youthful offenders (CDCR, 2010, p.10). This system should no longer be considered an appropriate or affordable use of California taxpayer dollars. A well-designed, phased juvenile justice realignment beginning in 2012 will strengthen the ability of counties to serve their most high-needs youth, enhance long-term public safety, and provide a fiscally responsible approach to juvenile justice in a time of great financial crisis. CJCJ’s juvenile justice realignment recommendation is outlined by five key components on page 6 of this report.