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New California Juvenile Reform Laws in 2021

The following are the important changes to California’s juvenile justice system in 2021: 

  • Minors with problems in school (AB 901) – When children are causing trouble in school or at home – but not accused of a crime – they are typically placed on probation, in which these young people are forced to waive their due process and privacy rights and submit to unannounced home visits, surprise searches, communication restrictions, and invasive interrogations. AB 901 changes the punishment of disorderly, insubordinate students from probation and court supervision to community-based programs to give them the resources and support to help them overcome their issues and succeed. 

  • Ending juvenile prisons (SB 823/AB 1868) – These laws phase the closure of California’s Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and replace them with the Office of Youth and Community Restoration, which provides resources and support to juveniles. Intake into DJJ ended on July 1, 2020, and raises the age of local jurisdiction and confinement to 25 years old for serious cases. 

  • Hiding juvenile records (AB 2425) – This law protects minors who are diverted from the juvenile justice system from the negative collateral repercussions of a police record if they encounter law enforcement officials or at the referral of a probation department. Therefore, diversion service providers must maintain record confidentiality. 

For more information about the recent juvenile reform laws in California, contact The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman today at (866) 294-8952. Defending juveniles in Orange County and throughout Southern California for more than 26 years.