A bill recently introduced to the California State Senate – Assembly Bill (AB) 388 – refers to administrative data to reflect perils of foster youth involved in the juvenile justice system. It aims to prevent foster youth from being arrested or charged for misbehavior they would only experience in foster care. The bill would limit restitution and lead to an investigation of the incident rather than corrective action; disciplinary consequences would be left up to investigators.
The bill asserts that foster youth in group homes are disproportionately exposed to the criminal justice system, and it intends to collect more data to reflect this claim. Dennis Culhane contributed to a 2011 Los Angeles study that demonstrated that youth involved in both foster care and the juvenile justice system fare much worse than youth involved in just one of these systems. This study exposed risks for foster care youth that AB 388 intends to amend.
For more information on AB 388, please click here.