The California Assembly Public Safety Committee voted down a bill that would reverse progress in juvenile justice reform Jan. 14.
Former Post-Conviction Justice Project clients who had been sentenced as juveniles to life without possibility of parole joined other released life-term inmates as well as activists and victim survivors in Sacramento to oppose the assembly bill.
The proposed legislation aimed to reinstate life-without-parole sentences for youth offenders under the age of 18 and was voted down 6-2.
The group continued on a “gratitude tour” to thank more than 70 legislators, staff and members of the governor’s office whose support of various reforms had impacted their lives by giving second chances.
“For years PCJP has been fighting for the laws that create a meaningful opportunity for release for young people who do the hard work to rehabilitate. These reforms have made a profound impact in juvenile justice and created hope and second chances for so many. This bill would have undone much of that progress,” said Heidi Rummel, director of PCJP. “We are not going back to the way things were — and it’s reassuring that our legislators agree.