Youth Justice

California's Fair Sentencing Law (2012)

SB 9 (Yee)

In a key policy shift that could spur other states to change their sentencing practices, California enacted SB 9 on September 30, 2012. The new law gives juvenile offenders sentenced to life without the possibility of parole the opportunity to seek a hearing to reduce their sentences to 25 years to life. SB 9 was co-sponsored by NCYL and the Children’s Defense Fund. Its enactment concluded a several-year-long campaign to get the legislation passed. SB 9 represents a significant, though not complete, victory for the movement fighting for more sane and less punitive sentencing of youth.