In the News

June 01, 2017

By Katy Murphy

A package of four bills introduced by Sens. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, to reform treatment of youths and young adults in the criminal justice system. Senate Bill 394 ends life without parole for juveniles; Senate Bill 393, sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, seals arrest records for those arrested but not convicted of a crime; and Senate Bill 395 would require those under 18 to consult with legal counsel before waiving their Miranda rights in police interrogations.

May 31, 2017

Listen to the segment  on the Senate approving SB 190 by Sen. Holly J. Mitchell HERE:

May 26, 2017

By Julio Moran and Linda Jacobson

Proposed legislation would move juvenile justice in California closer to rehabilitating youth rather than punishing them, juvenile advocates say.

State sens. Holly Mitchell and Ricardo Lara, both Democrats, introduced bills in March that would keep more youth out of the juvenile justice system by focusing on crime prevention and family ties rather than incarceration.

While none of the proposed laws are groundbreaking, they could lead to changes in other states.

May 18, 2017

By Patrick McGreevy

The state Senate approved a measure Thursday that could loosen sentencing for gun crimes.

Current law says anyone who uses a gun in committing a felony must have their sentence increased by three to 10 years in prison on top of the penalty for the felony. The proposal is to lift that mandate.

Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) said he introduced the bill after a 17-year-old riding in a car involved in a drive-by shooting was sentenced to 25 years in prison even though he denied shooting the gun.

May 17, 2017

Backers of California after-school programs are pushing hard for their first state funding increase in a decade, even as the Trump administration has called for cutting federal funding. Watch, listen to Sen. Holly J. Mitchell's comments HERE:

Read  transcript below.

May 16, 2017

By David Greenwald

Failed to Reduce Drug Sales, Exacerbated Racial Disparities in Sentencing, Crippled State and Local Budgets

The California Senate took a step to address what many described as an expensive failed policy that exacerbated racial disparities in sentencing by passing SB 180 by Senators Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles and Ricardo Lara of Long Beach. The bill passed along party lines, 22-13, with most Democrats supporting the reform, and most Republicans opposing.

May 16, 2017

By Jazmine Ulloa

The state Senate on Monday approved a bill that would repeal three-year mandatory sentence enhancements for some prior drug convictions, part of a reform package that lawmakers say would protect juveniles and create parity in the justice system.

Senate Bill 180, co-authored by Sens. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), narrowly moved out of the Senate on a 22-13 vote. It now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

May 16, 2017

By Angela Hart

ahart@sacbee.com

With after-school programs in California at risk under President Donald Trump, some state lawmakers and after-school advocates are seeking to pressure Gov. Jerry Brown to help.

Trump, in his budget proposal, has proposed eliminating funding for after-school programs. Cuts could affect 400,000 elementary and middle-school kids, according to the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance, which is organizing a rally at the Capitol beginning at 10:30 a.m.

May 16, 2017

By DON THOMPSON Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California's attorney general and state lawmakers again moved Monday in the opposite direction from the Trump administration, this time on penalties for criminals.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra termed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' blanket call for harsher penalties for criminals "crazy" and "stupid," while state senators voted to roll back penalties for drug offenders.

Sessions said Friday that federal prosecutors should file the toughest charges possible against most crime suspects.