Brian Goldstein: Public safety issues are especially challenging given the state’s ongoing prison overcrowding crisis and the ever-evolving juvenile justice system. The state passed a number of successful reforms in 2013. Yet, 2014 already brings some exceptional juvenile justice legislation that is worthy of recognition and support.
California Policy Reform — In 2014, policymakers should develop solutions that reflect California’s most vulnerable populations.
Status Offenses — There is no acceptable reason for a youth to be placed into court proceedings because of incorrigible behavior.
Brian Goldstein: In 2011 a majority of Americans believed crime was getting worse as the country was experiencing a steady 15-year decline. Crime data is the only way to fight the undue influence of misperception and anecdotal evidence.
Brian Goldstein: It’s time to ban the box. Applying for a job is tough, particularly in this challenging economic climate. For those Californians with a criminal history, the obstacles for getting employment often appear insurmountable.
Brian Goldstein: One out of six Californians, over 6 million people, live in poverty. One out of four children, numbering 2.1 million, also struggle with poverty. The 2012 poverty rate for California was 15.9 percent, up from 12.2 percent in 2006.
Brian Goldstein: In this era of Realignment, California cannot afford to repeat mistakes from the past and throw away money to unnecessarily expand local jails, lease private facilities, and use local jails for ICE detentions.
Brian Goldstein: California continues to work through the implications of Realignment, and develop a safe plan to reduce its adult prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity by December 31, 2013, per Supreme Court mandate.
Brian Goldstein: In California, there are a number of state criminal justice bills that require support when the legislature returns from recess in early August.