Brian Rinker


With Group Home Reforms in California, Fears Emerge About How Sexually Trafficked Youth Will Fare

As new reforms change the way group homes in the state operate, the struggles of a facility that aims to help sexually exploited children in the Bay Area illustrates the uncertain future of services for the vulnerable group.


Cops, Group Homes and Criminalized Kids

Allyson Bendell wasn’t always the most well behaved girl, but that didn’t make her a criminal either. In the world of group homes, however, where staff who are often undertrained and overwhelmed try to manage the severe behaviors that foster youth disproportionately exhibit, calling the police, for some, has become a go-to method for controlling kids.


Three Brothers, Three Paths Out of Foster Care

The brothers escaped on a Sunday. Matt, 14, Terrick, 12, and Joseph, 11 pretended to go to church that day in 2006, but in secret they had planned to run away and never come back.


Little-known Agency Central to Criminal Justice Reform

Most people have never heard of California’s Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC). But the little-known agency, with 83 employees and a $16 million annual operations budget, packs a punch.


Mandatory Minimum Sentencing for Juveniles is a Deal Breaker

“Audrie’s Law” stalled in the California State Assembly’s Committee on Public Safety  this morning due to the growing opposition against the bill’s mandatory sentencing requirements for juveniles convicted of sexually assaulting unconscious or disabled victims.


SoCal Charities Mobilize Behind Blue Ribbon Commission

In an unprecedented move, 17 Southern California charitable foundations exerted their influence on the recent reforms sweeping the nation’s largest child welfare system. Southern California Grantmakers, an association of Southland philanthropic institutions, sent a letter on June 5 to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors urging them to approve the recommendations laid out by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Child Protection.


    Bill to Decriminalize Foster Youth Goes to California Senate

    A new bill that child advocacy groups are hoping will curb arrests of foster youth in group homes will likely be introduced today in the State Senate. The new legislation in its current form will trigger an investigation into group homes that call the police frequently on the criminal conduct of foster youth, limit out-of-pocket restitution demanded of foster youth and reduce time spent in juvenile detention centers.

    Bakhit brothers


    Locked Up and Locked Out

    When Terrick Bakhit turned 18 while incarcerated in a juvenile correction facility, the foster care system that had watched over him for the previous five years abruptly cut him off. On June 13, 2012, Bakhit emerged from San Diego County’s Camp Barrett homeless and broke.