Earlier this month, at the invitation of Head Deputy of Juvenile at the LA District Attorney’s Office, Shawn Randolph, CYS gave an interactive video-conference training targeted to juvenile court prosecutors throughout LA County.
Twenty-two deputy district attorneys and filing deputies representing all parts of the county, from Lancaster to Long Beach and Sylmar to Pomona, received an immersive introduction to restorative practices and their implementation, given by CYS Executive Director Jessica Ellis.
The two-hour presentation was supported with powerful evidence showing that diversion dramatically reduces recidivism, significantly improves the experience of crime victims, and leads to greater public safety and far-ranging positive outcomes for youth offenders.
The presentation addressed a renewed interest in rehabilitative alternatives to traditional punitive justice processing for youth, many of whom are struggling with the impacts of trauma. The presentation also made the case for increasing use of pre-booking diversion, for heightened awareness to racial inequities in the current referral system, and concrete methods for implementing equity protections.
Based on the level of involvement and the highly-focused questions of participants, the training appears to have motivated representatives of many local courts to engage with CYS as a vital partner in the near future.