Erica Webster

Erica Webster is a member of the policy team at the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco.
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States Must Move Funding from Correctional Facilities to Community-Based Treatment

Across the United States, juvenile arrest rates have reached 40-year lows, dropping precipitously over the past 20 years. As the national juvenile arrest rates have fallen in recent decades, so too has youth incarceration. States now have a choice: they can continue to invest in the detrimental and ineffective incarceration of youth, or reinvest in community-based alternatives that address the underlying causes of crime. From its peak in 1996 to the most recent national data available for … [Read more...]

Understanding How Counties Implement Criminal Justice Policy Changes

The California Sentencing Institute (CASI) interactive map now shows annual criminal and juvenile justice statistics for 2009-2015. The map provides users with county-by-county visual comparisons illustrating law enforcement practices, incarceration rates, and trends over seven years. Given the shift in criminal justice policies stemming from Public Safety Realignment in 2011, juvenile justice realignment in 2007, and Proposition 47 in 2014, the CASI map provides a useful visual tool for … [Read more...]

Failure After Farrell: Violence and Inadequate Mental Health Care in California’s Division of Juvenile Justice

The history of California’s state youth corrections system, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), has been mired in violence and abuse. In 2003, after advocates exposed decades of inhumane conditions, DJJ was sued (Farrell v. Kernan) and subject to a court order mandating systemic and cultural reforms in all its facilities. In 2016, Farrell was dismissed. CJCJ’s new report finds that, despite over a decade of monitoring, DJJ continues to be a dangerous and traumatic place, which fails to … [Read more...]

Senate Subcommittee Votes to Improve Prop. 47 Funding Process

On April 7th, the California Senate Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety, and the Judiciary (“Budget Sub. 5”) held a hearing to discuss important criminal justice policy. The hearing agenda put special focus on the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC), the agency that will be responsible for distributing 65 percent of Prop. 47 state savings and $250 million in jail construction funding proposed in the Governor’s FY 2016-17 budget. On April 14, the BSCC Board approvedthe … [Read more...]

Proposition 47 Savings: Reinvest in California’s Communities

Proposition 47 and the Second Chance Program (Assembly Bill 1056) present an opportunity to break the cycle of jail expansion and reduce California’s reliance on incarceration. Voted into law by about 60 percent of California’s electorate, Proposition 47 changed certain non-serious, nonviolent felonies into misdemeanors. This shortened sentences for many incarcerated people, which reduced the state’s prison population and generated cost-savings. According to the proposition, 65 percent of … [Read more...]