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The President outlined his agenda in the State of the Union, but our nation’s vulnerable children across the country are left without hope from this Administration. This address was silent to the shameful problems related to homelessness, hunger, education, early childhood development, youth justice and child welfare outlined in a letter Marian Wright Edelman sent the White House ahead of the State of the Union. We must continue our march toward progress.
California’s Welfare and Institutions Code section 236 (WIC 236) grants probation departments across the state the authority to intervene in the lives of any young person, including those who have not been accused of violating the law. Law enforcement officials believe that this practice deters youth delinquency. However, community organizations and a growing body of research are beginning to question whether this practice is doing more harm than good.
In “WIC 236 - ‘Pre-Probation’ Supervision of Youth of Color With No Prior Court or Probation Involvement,” researchers from Children’s Defense Fund-California, Youth Justice Coalition, Urban Peace Institute and Anti-Recidivism Coalition examine this contraversal statute, ultimately arguing that law enforcement’s work with low-risk youth is ineffective and can lead to increased involvement with the court, detention and incarceration systems. Instead, the report recommends shifting resources away from law enforcement entities towards education and community-based interventions that more appropriately serve youths’ needs.
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"While I continue to face challenges at home head on, at school I remain focused and committed to achieving success. The CDF Beat the Odds scholarship represents this success." - Vincent Zamarripa, 2015 Beat the Odds Honoree.