A group from Books not Bars, of mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers climbed on a bus and went to Sacramento on May 7th to promote AB999. The good news it will be presented to the Assembly in the very near future, having passed from them to public attention and the assembly. This is a bill that would prohibit there being Add ons to the length of time a youth offender can have additional time added on to his sentence by the guards and staff at the places of incareration. Without a judge, or any kind of hearing or even acknowledgement to the courts, the jail staff unlike the judge and court have no accounting to any group outside themselves for the actions taken against a youth in jail. But that's not all the AB999 is about, it's about the guards not putting youth into solitary confinement for weeks and months, it's about providing education and training, so these young people come out not deadened angry young men. With the recidivist cycle a given under the current condition, AB999 would require the monies spent by taxpayers to be directed toward improving the conditions: job training, education for starters, of youth in such a way as they are ready for reentry, rather than left to waste. What we'd be paying for as taxpayers would be on the positive side instead of keeping the jails staffed and recycling the offenders. as people who have been given the opportunity to return to society rather than youth wasted.
President Obama said not that long ago, that it's important to our country that the youth of today get the education and job training they need to have our country keep its place in the world. All the young people. Not just for the individual, but the future we're all going to take part. Books Not Bars has taken that to Sacramento and is working not just for the youth, their families and the future that will be there, but they're working for all of us for a better world.
Keep a look out for AB999 will be in the State Assembly this week.