Close Juvenile Hall: Call to Action!

by Anisha Tammana

Last month, supervisors Haney, Ronen, and Walton introduced legislation that outlined the plan to close San Francisco’s juvenile hall by 2021. Led by several nonprofits and community groups, the effort to end youth incarceration has been a passionately led cause. With a focus on community alternatives and compassion, advocates have pushed for a progressive agenda that emphasizes the futures of incarcerated youth.

According to the Young Women’s Freedom Center, being incarcerated as a youth greatly increases the likelihood of adult incarceration. A curriculum published by the organization summarizes the reasons to protest youth incarceration as well as the plan going forward regarding San Francisco’s juvenile hall. It aims to center youth voices who are the most connected to the issue.

All data suggests that the city is spending unnecessarily on imprisoning youth, a largely ineffective and inhumane solution to crime. Most youth that end up incarcerated are there for nonviolent offenses. Says the Young Women’s Freedom Center: “You should not need to be locked in juvenile hall to receive healing.”

By halting youth incarceration and drawing awareness to its connection to youth poverty, future incarceration, and the host of other issues that can result from it, San Francisco community groups hope to push a legislative agenda that supports marginalized youth.

Come out on May 22nd at 1 p.m. to a budget hearing in which No New SF Jail Coalition will present on policing and jailing (City Hall, room 250).