Youth Justice

Eliminating Harmful Voluntary Probation (2020)

AB 901 (Gipson)

Numerous studies have shown that probation involvement – including excessive supervision and services for youth who have not been charged with any crime – does more harm than good and risks widening the net of youth involved in the justice system. AB 901, passed in 2020, ensures that youth who have not been accused of breaking the law are not subject to harmful justice system interventions. AB 901 supports a new vision for youth development and system diversion throughout California – one that recognizes youth by their strengths, promotes meaningful community and school-based interventions to support youth in their development and educational success, eliminates “voluntary probation supervision,” and reduces the high economic and emotional costs of youth arrest, court involvement, detention and incarceration that occur much more often once youth come into contact with probation and other law enforcement.

AB 901:

  • Protects youth from contact with the juvenile system, including “voluntary probation supervision;”
  • Protects youth from informal probation supervision simply because law enforcement officials believe they might become system- involved in the future;
  • Ends juvenile system referrals for disobedience to school authorities; and
  • Promotes community-based youth development programs and prioritize system diversion whenever possible.