On July 26, members from multiple bargaining units met with the state to review and discuss the proposed 2012 CDCR-DJJ Business Rules. These rules can lead to reductions of DJJ employees in the various worksites and are a reoccurring meet and confer. The union asked many questions about why certain changes were made to the business rules from the 2009 version and what impacts they might have. CDCR was not ready to answer these questions, so a follow up meeting has been scheduled for later in August.
In his 2011-2012 budget message, Governor Brown proposed the elimination of DJJ by 2014. SEIU Local 1000 responded quickly by developing a strategic campaign plan for DJJ’s future. We facilitated conversations among organizations representing chief probation officers, county supervisors, district attorneys, youth correctional officers, mental health professionals and experts on juvenile justice reform.
Under pressure from Local 1000 and other stakeholders, the Legislature removed DJJ from CDCR Realignment, temporarily saving DJJ from elimination.
SEIU Local 1000 kept the pressure on legislators and the Brown administration with a consistent message: DJJ should remain as a treatment and placement option for California’s most troubled youth offenders. Local 1000 represents the teachers, librarians, teaching assistants, nurses, medical support staff, cooks and administrative workers who have the specialized skills required to work with this population.
Local 1000 will continue to monitor the budgetary issues that could impact DJJ’s future. DJJ will remain a target of groups interested in a different type of juvenile justice reform. The current proposal includes increased payments by counties for every juvenile commitment housed at DJJ, and it also proposes to lower the age of DJJ jurisdiction from 25 to 23.
All DJJ employees should be aware that the Integrated Behavioral Treatment Model (IBTM), now being piloted at OH Close, is, per the Farrell Special Master, a program with the potential to be THE model for juvenile justice in this country. It might be in the best interest of DJJ if all DJJ employees embrace the IBTM program.
If state revenues do not increase, California lawmakers will surely be faced with no other option than to cut deeper into state services.
DJJ employees should support the tax initiative on the November ballot