New York - Bend the Arc CEO Stosh Cotler issued the following statement in response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing today of SB 1143 -- a bill to reform the practice of juvenile room confinement in the state of California:
“We are grateful to Gov. Brown for signing this humane, common-sense and bipartisan bill into law and creating a fairer system for incarcerated youth in California. SB 1143 reforms the unjust, harmful practice of juvenile room confinement, protecting incarcerated youth from the dangerous practice of room confinement and ensuring that they have a better chance at success and achievement in the future.
As Jews, we understand the importance of repentance, forgiveness and treating our fellow human beings with dignity and respect. As an official co-sponsor of this bill, Bend the Arc is proud to have been part of this years-long fight for just and humane treatment of California’s incarcerated youth.”
Bend the Arc has been working on criminal justice reform in California since 2014 and was an official co-sponsor of this year’s legislation following similar efforts last year. As part of the coalition led by the Ella Baker Center, Bend the Arc activists worked for 18 months to build support through phonebanking, lobby visits to members of the Assembly, op-eds, and community engagement, capped off with a strong August letter-writing campaign to Gov. Brown.