Thurmond Hosts Roundtable on Creating Pathways for Success For Youth Released from Juvenile Correctional Camps

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Sacramento – Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) hosted a roundtable today on creating pathways for success through AB 1488. Thurmond introduced AB 1488 this legislative session, which establishes Juvenile Transition Centers that would provide reentry services and optional transitional housing for youth who were previously in a juvenile correctional camp. The bill was developed by youth from Camp Sweeney, a juvenile correctional camp facility, in support with staff from Camp Sweeney, Freedom School, the Alameda County Office of Education, and Assemblymember Thurmond.

“Every child deserves a second chance at a good life,” said Thurmond. “This hearing was an opportunity to get the kids that leave juvenile correctional camps to talk about their needs to people that can make a difference in their lives.”

According to the state Division of Juvenile Facilities (DJF) in 2007, 70% of youth paroled from its institutions were re-arrested within 2 years, many for serious crimes. DJF also documented extremely high rates of mental health disorders (approximately 70%) and substance abuse histories (exceeding 80%) for its release populations.

The purpose of the roundtable was to gather interested stakeholders and allow them to hear from the youth from Camp Sweeney and well as provide the youth with the opportunity for feedback from the stakeholders and legislators to help shape the bill.

In attendance at this hearing were Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), Assemblymember Mike Gibson (D – Carson), Daniel Zingale, Senior Vice President (California Endowment), L. Karen Monroe, (Superintendent Alameda County Office of Education), and Camp Sweeney students.