California Endowment Grant Supports Youth Justice Reporting and Journalism Innovation
A wave of proposed reforms in local communities and the state capital aim to redirect funds away from incarceration in favor of community-based services and programs aimed at preventing young people's contact with the criminal justice system entirely.
Over the course of the next 18 months, The Chronicle will both deploy its experienced staff to cover youth justice issues and launch an innovative reporting fellowship to ensure coverage in the state's news deserts.
"We're pleased to support The Chronicle in expanding its reporting on alternatives to youth incarceration that help young people thrive and improve community safety," said Mary Lou Fulton, program director at The California Endowment.
A string of policy victories wrought by advocates in recent years has begun to disrupt the youth incarceration pipeline in California. Youth crime has shrunk 84 percent since 1980, and counties are now looking to experiment with a wider array of alternatives to incarceration. Notably, counties like San Francisco and Los Angeles have closed down juvenile halls in recent months.
The Chronicle of Social Change will continue its coverage of the state's juvenile justice system, from emerging efforts to increase community organizations in diversionary practices at the local level to California's continuing effort to reform its Division of Juvenile Justice, recently renamed as the Department of Youth and Community Restoration.
"We are deeply grateful to the California Endowment for allowing us to pursue this important work at such a pivotal time for young people up and down the state," said Chronicle Publisher Daniel Heimpel. "Our goal now is to elevate and inform the already active discourse around how to best serve young people who touch the criminal justice system."
About Fostering Media Connections
Fostering Media Connections (FMC) is a non-profit news organization that uses investigative and accountability journalism to drive reform within the systems that serve vulnerable children, youth and their families. FMC publishes The Chronicle of Social Change and Fostering Families Today magazine. See www.fosteringmediaconnections.org and www.chronicleofsocialchange.org for more information.
About the California Endowment
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment's Web site at www.calendow.org.