Juvenile Justice Networking Night Sept 2023

Networking Night focuses on Ending Girls Incarceration

EGI Networking Night

City Heights residents packed the room and filled it with love, energy, passion, and so much more during an amazing Networking Night on September 21. Community members heard from panelists who ended girls incarceration in Santa Clara County and others seeking to do the same in California counties. The crowd was moved by panelist Leslie, a youth who shared her story of a tough life, going from system to system and never experiencing love throughout her childhood. Thanks to her mentor, panelist Analisa from the Young Women's Freedom Center, Leslie turned her life around, will soon graduate from high school, and is now helping troubled female youth as a Community Organizer at the center.

Panelists Marcia and Ramon from the Office of Youth and Community Restoration (OYCR) talked about youth incarceration and how many of them are still locked up despite low-level offenses. "The United States is the country that incarcerates the most people in the whole world. The fact that we have a lot of black and brown and native kids sitting in these facilities and now Asian kids, is no mistake. It's been so intentional," said Marcia. She explained research has shown that youth incarceration doesn't work. When youth incarceration facilities are shut down, the funding for these facilities are given to their office. OYCR then sends these funds to Community Based Organizations "to do the work that they know (to help youth). This is what we need," she said.


It was a special night as everyone enjoyed networking, hearing stories of redemption, appreciating each other, and enjoying food and the ice-breaker game together. Juvenile Justice organizer Manuel and Youth Council and Juvenile Justice team member Karlita did an exceptional job as co-moderators. Many thanks to our panelists, community members and Mid-City CAN staff for making Networking Night a memorable one. As promised, here's a link to the presentation materials, SB 274 Floor Alert and agenda. Click here to view the photo album for Ending Girls Incarceration. If you missed the event, click here to view Instagram Live and here to watch the IG Reel. Please take a moment to help end defiance suspensions by calling Governor Gavin Newson's office and asking him to sign SB 274 (during business hours). Find script and call details here.

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