"DJJ is the worst thing that ever happened to my son and our family. The youth prison system is a disgrace for California and its closing is past due." - Lourdes Duarte, Families for Books Not Bars
The Ella Baker Center and its Books Not Bars campaign celebrates Governor Jerry Brown's budget proposal that eliminates the harmful, abusive Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) youth prisons.
Books Not Bars has been calling for DJJ’s closure for seven years. And finally, Sacramento is listening.
Governor Brown has called his proposed budget “painful.” With deep cuts to vital human and health services, plus nearly $1.5 billion in cuts to higher education, the next few years will be challenging. Considering the cuts to these important programs, closing DJJ makes more sense now than ever. The DJJ drains our state budget of hundreds of millions of dollars each year and fails more than 8 out of 10 youth who are released from its prisons. We cannot afford to fund a wasteful, broken system that hurts our youth and worsens the deficit.
But the fight is not over. Opponents are already contacting lawmakers to urge them to oppose this crucial plan.. Sign this petition now! This is our chance to show Sacramento that the majority of Californians want a juvenile justice system that invests in youth, their families, and our communities—not miserable warehouses that just add damage to damage.