Ricardo Lara


Bill Would Prohibit California from Sending Youth Under 16 to Adult Courts

A violent riot broke out in the yard on Michael Mendoza’s very first day in a state prison — a stark wake-up call to his new reality. At age 15, Mendoza had been tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison.


This California Bill Would Erase Life Without Parole Sentences for Juveniles

A bill awaiting California Governor Jerry Brown’s signature would end mandatory, life-in-prison sentences for youth offenders in the state. Under the proposed law, Senate Bill 394, anyone under the age of 18 with a life sentence now or in the future would be entitled to a parole hearing by their 25th year of incarceration.


Rights Relinquished: How 25 Hours Became 21 Years for Jerome Dixon

A California bill seeks to protect the rights of minors in high-pressure interrogation situations during criminal investigations. On July 25th, 1990, the course of Jerome Dixon’s life changed forever. After 25 hours of interrogation, the then 17-year-old Oakland youth would find himself sentenced to decades in prison.


Report: Juvenile Administrative Fees Burden Families Across California

A lot has changed in the year since Michael Rizo was released from a Stockton youth correctional facility after serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence. “I give back to the community,” the 21-year-old Rizo said.


California Bill to End Crippling Administrative Fees for Juveniles in the Justice System

California State Senators Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) recently introduced a bill to eliminate administrative fees across the state for young people involved in the juvenile justice system.

Connecticut may raise the juvenile arrest age from 7 to 10.


Round-up of California Juvenile Justice Legislation for 2016

Originally published by Witness LA from September 28 to October 4. This was part of a longer round-up of California legislation on Witness LA.  Juvenile Justice Data-Gathering A bill that aims to standardize the way California’s local probation departments gather and report data on the kids in the juvenile justice system, AB 1998, made it past Gov.