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Saturday, April 1, 2017

California's Youth Needs You

Prop 57 EmergencyRegulationsare here.
This week CDCR released proposed regulations for Proposition 57. Learn about them and voice your opinion about what is good and what should be changed! We have until Monday, April 3rd to submit a letter in this first round of public comments.These are "emergency regulations,"
which means they will go into effect quickly and will be in use while the permanent regulations go through the formal vetting process. We get the first chance to voice our opinions on these regulations right now, with a deadline of Monday, April 3rd. Later, when the permanent
regulations are being considered, we'll get another chance to send in letters and go to public hearings. Watch this short slideshow on what the regulations are and how you can be involved!

Learn about what is in the emergency regulations and how you can participate in the public comment period. Read about the process here and read the actual Prop 57 Regs here. Finally, you can use this Prop 57 Regulations Sample Letter with Instructions 3-24-17 to weigh in!The
emergency regulations can stay in effect for 180 days. We can expect that prior to the end of that period the permanent regulation rule-making process will occur, and during that time there will be a minimum 45-day period for written public comments. There will also be public hearings. As
people who care about this issue, we should weigh in at every chance. Stay tuned to learn about other deadlines, public hearings, and more.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ACTION!! Letter-writing workshop at USC School of Law last week. Taught by law students and formerly incrcerated people, we split up into small groups and drafted letters on the Prop 57 regulations together.

GET THE GUIDE.Youth OffenderParole Guideon SB 260 and SB 261 For families and people on the inside. Click here to get yours. go through the formal vetting process, including More »

TAKE ACTION NOW: Speak Up on Prop 57 Regs! And, Support Two Bills on the Rights of

Children and Youth!

There are three important ways to take action right now: 1. Support SB 394, ending life without parole for youth under age 18; 2. Support SB 395, protecting Miranda rights for youth; and 3.

Give your opinion on Prop More »

Go Here To View Sample Letter>

Read this one-page descriptoin SB 395 here! SB 395- Miranda Factsheet. Read the bill text here.

Then, take action!! Send a letter! Here are to easy-to-use options:

Sample letter with instructions OR

Several short letters– pick one to just print, sign, and send!

Under current law, police are allowed to:
•Remove a child from school without a parent’s permission
•Interrogate a child for hours without a parent’s knowledge
•Lie to the child about what evidence exists against him or her
•Threaten long prison sentences
•Not contact a parent during interrogation, even when a child is asking to speak with their mother or father.

The end result is that children and youth are alone in a very high-pressure situation, and are often frightened.

SB 395 is a bill that if passed would have made sure a person under the age of 18 gets to talk to an attorney before giving up his or her constitutional rights.

Want to know more?
•More facts
•Why American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychologists believes attorneys should be present with children who are with police
•How the rate of false confessions is high for youth
•How much false confessions cost California

Fact Sheet >


Miranda Rights for Youth
Senate Bill 395
SB 395 will require youth under the age of 18 to
consult with legal counsel before they waive their
constitutional rights.

Currently in California, children—no matter howyoung— can waive their Miranda rights. When

lawenforcement conducts a custodial interrogation, they are required to recite basic constitutional rights to theindividual, known as Miranda rights, and secure awaiver of those rights before
proceeding. The waivermust be voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently made.
Miranda waivers by juveniles present distinct issues.
Recent advances in cognitive science research haveshown that the capacity of youth to grasp legal rights is less than that of an adult. This is especially true for very young, developmentally disabled, or cognitivelydelayed children, and for those with mental health
Although existing law assures counsel for youth accused of crimes, the law does not require law enforcement to recognize that youth are different from adults. It is critical to ensure a youth understands their rights before waiving them.
Recently an appellate court held that a 10-year-old boy made a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver of his Miranda rights. When the police asked if he understood the right to remain silent, he replied, “Yes, that means that I have the right to stay calm.” The California Supreme Court declined to review the lower court’s decision. Several justices disagreed, and in his dissenting statement Justice Liu noted that many states have taken legislative action on this issue and
suggests that California should as well, stating that state law on juvenile waivers is a half-century old and,“predates by several decades the growing body ofscientific research that the [U.S. Supreme Court] has repeatedly found relevant in assessing differences in mental capabilities between children and adults.”
Studies have demonstrated youth often do not fully comprehend the consequences of waiving their rights.
They are also much more likely than adults to waive their rights and to confess to crimes they did not commit. A recent study of exonerations found that 13 percent of adults had falsely confessed, compared to 42 percent of juveniles. The ramifications for both the
individual and society of false confessions are farreaching.
Our society recognizes that children are especially vulnerable in legal situations, which is why youth cannot buy alcohol and cigarettes or enter into legal contracts, yet our state’s laws do not recognize their diminished capacity to understand their Miranda rights. Other states have acknowledged the difference between youth and adults and passed laws providing safeguards for youth. Unfortunately, for juveniles in California, our justice system
only provides Miranda rights in theory. In practice the system is flawed and can and does result in serious disproportionate negative consequences for youth who have the same rights as adults, but do not have the same capacity to understand their rights or the consequences of waiving them.
SB 395 will require youth under 18 to consult with counsel prior to waving their rights. This will preserv youth’s constitutional rights and protect the integrity of our criminal justice system. This bill will bring California’s law in line with modern science. By
ensuring youth understand their rights, we ensure the outcome of interrogations are just and
lawful, and create greater trust, accountability, and due process for all.
Megan Baier 916-651-4033

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