Closing DJJ the Right Way, 2 Part Webinar Series
In September 2020, Governor Newsom signed SB 823, a historic bill that will lead to the closure of California’s Division of Juvenile Justice. The legislature is currently working on the development of the Office of Youth and Community Restoration is currently guiding each of California’s 58 counties to develop rehabilitative and healing programs that are alternatives to youth imprisonment, while also allocating grants to each county to fund these services.
We want an end to youth imprisonment, however, the implementation of SB 823 poses many complications. While activists, advocates, and directly impacted community members create plans for community-based services and the distribution of resources, the Chief Probation Officers Department and other state actors object to these shifts and are positioning themselves as the entity to control the resources. Meanwhile, prosecutors continue to transfer youth directly into the adult prison—a tactic that negates the intention of SB 823 and the years of organizing it took to get here.
Hear from youth justice organizers across the state currently developing implementation plans for their counties; we will discuss the challenges and needs of organizers, advocates, and people most directly impacted by this legislation.
Register for Part 1, Closing DJJ the Right Way: Register >
We will announce more speakers soon.
Tia Elena Martinez, CEO, Forward Change (moderator)
Tia Elena Martinez has over 25 years’ experience working for social justice in working-class communities of color in the United States. Over the decades her work spanned a wide range of issues including K-12 education, the HIV epidemic, the war on drugs, homelessness, affordable housing, disconnected youth, and immigration. She is currently the CEO of Forward Change, an organization that helps advocates and community organizers use data, strategy, and research to advance racial, economic, and gender justice.
Stephanie Medley, Director of Education & Justice, RYSE
Stephanie Medley has been part of the RYSE team since 2012 and now acts as the Director of Education & Justice. As Director of Education & Justice, Stephanie leads program development and advocacy and cultivates cross-sector collaborations to address the needs of youth & young adults impacted by education, economic, and criminal & juvenile justice systems. Stephanie is passionate about supporting the development and coordination of youth-friendly and culturally appropriate policies, practices, and supports. She works to create avenues for young people to navigate their own liberation and transform systems. Before joining RYSE, Stephanie worked on housing and eviction defense with Bay Area Legal Aid, serving as a law clerk at San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and Alameda County Public Defender’s Office and clerking for the Honorable Donald S. Mitchell, Superior Court of California County of San Francisco. Stephanie holds a J.D. from John F. Kennedy University College of Law, received her B.A. in Political Science and American Studies from San Francisco State University, and currently sits on Contra Costa County's Racial Justice Taskforce.
Briana Zweifler, Youth Law & Policy Attorney, Fresno Barrios Unidos
Briana Zweifler is a California attorney working towards decarceration, decriminalization, and reinvestment in community health. In 2020, they returned to their hometown of Fresno to serve as the Youth Law & Policy Attorney at Fresno Barrios Unidos (FBU). In this role, Briana supports youth- and community-led policy initiatives to promote youth justice, health justice, and education justice. Prior to joining FBU, Briana advocated for community-based and developmentally-appropriate responses to youth in contact with the juvenile justice system as the UC Presidential Public Service Fellow at the National Center for Youth Law. They worked with several Northern California organizations during law school, including the W. Haywood Burns Institute, the ACLU of Northern California, the Prison Law Office, and the Yurok Tribal Court. They earned their B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2013 and J.D. from the UC Davis School of Law in 2018.
Anthony Robles, Organizer, Youth Justice Coalition
Robles is an organizer with Los Angeles’s Youth Justice Coalition and a recent graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, where he majored in sociology and minored in chicanx studies. He helped create the university’s Student Homie Union, an organization focusing on reentry and system-impacted students, and the Migrant Liberation Collective, which supports migrants in detention. He was also a member of Project Rebound, a statewide university program serving formerly incarcerated students. Robles is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, including the Cal State University Board of Trustees Award, which is given each year to a student who best exemplifies success in the face of significant adversity.
This program is open to CCJFG and NCG members and nonmember funders.