April 27, 2017
The Honorable Anthony J. Portantino
State Capitol, Room 3086
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4925
RE: SB 304 (Portantino): Juvenile court school pupils: joint transitions planning policy.
AAP-CA Position: SUPPORT
Dear Senator Portantino:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports your proposed legislation SB 304 (Portantino). This bill would clarify existing law by delineating the components to be included in transition plans for youth involved in the juvenile justice system and enrolled in court schools.
Youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system are among our state’s most vulnerable children. Compounding the difficulties they face are the roadblocks to education that they often have to confront. In court schools, it is often difficult for youth to gather the transferable credits they need; once they return to school outside of the juvenile justice system, they are often routed into continuation schools that do not aim to prepare them for postsecondary education. Of course, difficulties to education access only make it harder for these youth—many of whom grow up in poverty—to escape their challenging circumstances. As poverty is among the greatest risk factors for negative health outcomes, this has both immediate and lifelong impacts on these adolescents’ health and well-being.
SB 304 (Portantino) would increase access to education for vulnerable youth in the juvenile justice system by requiring that the county office of education and probation department develop and implement an individualized transition plan to meet the academic, behavioral, social-emotional, and career needs of each court school pupil detained for more than four consecutive school days. This would facilitate rehabilitation into society and thus reduce continued destructive behavior.
Pediatricians strongly support SB 304 (Portantino). We thank you for your public service and for your leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Jacques Corriveau, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
Chair, State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne