Decarceration of Girls & Young Women

YWFC is ending the incarceration of young women and TGNC young people in Santa Clara County, in partnership with County and community-based partners. We are building an ecosystem and community-based alternative model that supports justice-involved women and TGNC people in reaching their full potential, accessing economic opportunities and becoming agents of change in their own lives, families and communities. In serving as a diversion and re-entry site for the County’s goal of ending incarceration of girls and young women, the work will provide a statewide blueprint for decarceration and decriminalization for communities most impacted by mass incarceration. 


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  • Ending Incarceration for Girls, Women and TGNC Young People: YWFC launched our initiative to End the Incarceration of Girls & Young Women in Santa Clara County (SCC) in collaboration with the SCC Office of Women’s Policy, Probation and Juvenile Court. Together, we are developing a countywide diversion and re-entry model and referral system. As members of the SCC Gender Responsive Task Force, we are identifying specific policies, administrative procedures, probation requirements, policing practices and sentencing patterns resulting in high levels of recidivism and probation failure for girls, young women and TGNC youth. 
  • Self-Determined Life Coaching & Healing: After stabilizing and receiving immediately needed support and services, participants are assigned a life coach to partner in designing a self-determined life plan.
  • Lift Us Up, Don’t Lock Us Down: Develops emerging leadership from young people inside (girls, women and TGNC) in juvenile and adult prisons, including court accompaniment, advocacy, systems navigation, release and re-entry planning, personal transformation and healing. 
  • Freedom Circles – Circulares: Grounded in self-determination, positive peer relationships and relationships with caring adults, our weekly, two-hour Freedom Circles provide healing and support for young people navigating to stay out of the system. 
  • Diversion Site: Though YWFC has always been a community-based alternative to incarceration, Santa Clara County will be the first county-sanctioned diversion site towards the shared goal of decarceration and will provide a model for our other sites as well as across the state.