YLC Announces Settlement Agreement Between Sacramento County and Youth Forward
Today, the Youth Law Center announced a settlement agreement between Sacramento County and YLC’s client, Youth Forward, a Sacramento-based non-profit focused on improving the health, education, and well-being of Sacramento’s most vulnerable children and youth. The settlement agreement protects and strengthens the rights of youth and families to participate in juvenile justice policymaking in Sacramento County by enforcing California’s open meeting laws.
The settlement resolves the lawsuit filed by the Youth Law Center and our pro bono partner Baker McKenzie on behalf of Youth Forward in July 2022. The lawsuit alleged that two local bodies responsible for juvenile justice planning in Sacramento Count —the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council and the Realignment Subcommittee—were conducting their work in violation of California’s open meeting and public participation laws, known as the Brown Act.
Under the settlement agreement, Sacramento County will be making its juvenile justice planning processes much more inclusive of community going forward. The settlement requires compliance with the Brown Act and more: increasing the number of required community member seats on the Realignment Subcommittee, requiring remote access options for all meetings, and instituting annual review of the county’s juvenile justice realignment plan.
YLC believes that youth and families who are directly impacted by the system must be able to meaningfully participate in any process for juvenile justice reform in order to ensure that reforms are effective and meaningful. YLC appreciates Sacramento County’s efforts and encourages other counties to follow their lead. YLC also celebrates the powerful advocacy of our client, Youth Forward, and their incredible work to lift up the voices and leadership of young people in Sacramento.
Read our full press release here.