California’s SAFE Children Act a Groundbreaking Advance that Will Protect Child Victims of Trafficking and Abuse from Being Re-Victimized in the Criminal Justice System
“The SAFE Children Act, which Governor Newsom signed on Friday, is a groundbreaking advance for youth justice and safety. We are thrilled that California has become the first state to end the practice of transferring children into the adult criminal justice system for violent offenses committed against the child’s trafficker or abuser. We hope and expect many more states will follow California’s lead because this essential policy will help protect child victims from further trauma in adult court and adult prison, and instead provide them the opportunity to heal with services and treatment the juvenile court system can provide.
“The SAFE Children Act also improves the criminal justice process by requiring judges to consider children’s trauma history when deciding whether to transfer them to adult court. MomsRising commends California State Senators Susan Rubio and Aisha Wahab and Assemblymember Isaac Bryan for their work to make this advance possible, the California state legislature for passing the bill, and Governor Newsom for signing it into law.
“Incarcerating children who fight back against their abusers and traffickers in adult prisons exacerbates their trauma and denies them justice. The SAFE Children Act will protect child victims from being re-victimized in the criminal justice system. MomsRising will continue to fight for policies at the local, state, and federal levels that promote non-carceral strategies for public safety, investments in trauma-informed care, and an end to mass incarceration and criminalization.”