In line with our #Freedom2030 goal to end the criminalization and incarceration of cis and trans young women, trans young men, and gender-expansive youth, our policy and advocacy work focuses on legislative and policy reform to advance our freedom and rights, including:
- Preventing separation and supporting reunification;
- Ending the profiting off of incarceration and the criminal legal system;
- Ending mandatory minimums and stopping enhancements;
- Creating oversight and security methods that keep people safe and protect their human rights while incarcerated and in systems;
- And replacing existing systems and legislation with those that uphold and are accountable to our Freedom Charter, and people most impacted.
To learn more about our policy work and contact our team, please email policy[at]youngwomenfree.org
2021 Co-sponsored Legislation
AB-124: Justice for Survivors Act
AB-124 supports survivors of violence, including domestic violence and human trafficking, by providing trauma-informed sentencing and re-sentencing relief by allowing judges to consider the impact of trauma on the person’s behavior. California’s current legal framework lacks clear legal mechanisms to ensure judges’ are provided information regarding an individual’s victimization, exploitation, trauma, and abuse at the time of charging, sentencing, and re-sentencing for survivors.
AB-990: Family Unity Bill
AB-990 establishes that visitation is a right, not a privilege, when we are in the systems that criminalize and control women, girls, and TGNC people. This bill would ensure that liaisons and transportation are put into place so our family members are not abused, extend phone time, and ensure that video visits are not used as substitutes for personal visits.
AB-333: The STEP Forward Act
AB 333 will end prosecutors’ ability to claim people are gang members simply because they may come from the same community, be related, or know each other; reduce the list of crimes that allow gang enhancements to be charged; prohibit the use of the current charge as proof of a “pattern” of criminal gang activity; require direct evidence of current and active gang allegations; and separate gang allegations from underlying charges at trial.
California law permits young people between the ages of 18-25 to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOP). The legislature has taken steps in recent years to align public policy with advances in research supporting criminal sentence reconsideration for young people under 25. SB-481 takes the next step updating sentencing laws to reflect system-wide goals of rehabilitative and restorative justice. SB-481 gives individuals sentenced to LWOP for crimes committed at age 25 or younger the opportunity to petition for a resentencing hearing after serving 15 years of their original sentence. (2 year bill)
AB-937: VISION Act
AB-937 would protect community members who have already been deemed eligible for release from being funneled by local jails and our state prison system to immigration detention. Prohibiting transfers to ICE protects Californians from being subjected to inhumane and unsanitary conditions in immigration detention where the COVID-19 virus has been rapidly spreading and harming people who are detained, staff, and subcontractors. VISION stands for “Voiding Inequality and Seeking Inclusion for Our Immigrant Neighbors.”
ACA-3: California Abolition Act
The California Constitution prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude “except to punish crime.” ACA-3, the California Abolition Act, would amend the California Constitution to remove such conditional language, abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude without exception.
AB-503: End Endless Probation
AB-503 would limit the time young people spend under probation supervision to six months unless the court determines after a hearing that it is in the best interest of the young person to extend probation. The bill would also require that probation conditions are tailored to individuals’ specific needs with greater resources invested in tailoring probation conditions to individualized case planning. AB-503 would also create a layer of accountability within the juvenile delinquency system that elevates youth well-being, addresses racial inequities, and is supported by data and research.