Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County DA Diana Becton, a Rare Prosecutor, Wants Youth Justice Reimagined


Contra Costa County DA Diana Becton, a Rare Prosecutor, Wants Youth Justice Reimagined

Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton is among a small group of district attorneys working to dial back decades of tough-on-crime approaches and as she does so, faces challenges.


Bay Area DA Calls for Closure of Juvenile Hall, Investing in Community Alternatives

Less than a week after joining dozens of other prosecutors, corrections officials and probation chiefs in signing an open letter calling for the closure of all youth prisons, one California district attorney took her first official step toward doing just that in her own county.


Catching Charges to Get Foster Care’s Help

If ever there was a modern-day orphan in American suburbia, surely Meritsa Sedillo fit the profile. At 17, she slept on hard rubber flooring beneath a play structure in an East Bay elementary schoolyard.


Was California’s $140 Million Foster Parent Recruitment Fund a Boon, or Boondoggle?

California has spent about $140 million over the past three-plus years to find more foster homes for the state’s most vulnerable children, but some advocates are worried that these foster parent recruitment funds were not much more than a giveaway to county child welfare departments, with little oversight from the state and an uncertain impact.

Caregivers Joe and Shirley Washington


Despite Increased Funding for Recruitment, Three California Counties Struggle to Find New Foster Homes

In 2017, California began implementing statewide reforms of its foster care system, a sprawling initiative designed to reduce the role of group homes and rely more heavily on relatives and foster homes.


Still Present and Accounted For: Q&A with Hedy Chang

Without Hedy Chang’s work on chronic absenteeism, it is unlikely that the issue would be as prominent in the education policy conversation as it is today. As Executive Director of Attendance Works, she fronts the non-profit’s national efforts to advance student success in school by reducing chronic absence.


    CoCo County Sets Record Straight on Bubble Foster Youth

    Foster care staff address Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on June 5th. By Tasion Kwamilele & Daniel Heimpel Responding to a slew of media reports surrounding Contra Costa County’s policy of cutting off foster care for youth at age 19, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff requested an oral report at the Contra Costa County’s Board of Supervisors meeting this week “There have been two negative stories in our local paper about this, and I wanted the real story, or more fleshing of facts shall we say, out in the public,” Mitchoff said during Tuesday’s hearing in Martinez, CA.


    A Tale of Two Fridays

    It is Friday, May 4th, at the Richmond Courthouse. Sun spills into the trash-strewn courtyard as the immediate future of soon-to-be 19-year-old foster youth David C. is decided within. On Sunday, David will turn 19, throwing into question his eligibility for benefits provided through a celebrated California law that extends foster care to age 20.