July 2018 Update

1. What has the Schox Philanthropy grant allowed you to do this quarter?

The participatory action research done by Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice is part of the Positive Youth Justice Initiative of Alameda County (PYJI). The Fellows are all formerly incarcerated young leaders who through their lived experiences were selected to investigate the impacts of the juvenile system in Alameda County.

They have published research findings that highlight the harm of being incarcerated as a young person and the strong need for healing centered alternatives to incarceration. The Dream Beyond Bars report is a reflection of a rigorous research process undergone by the fellows. From research design, developing survey and focus group questions to analyzing and coding the data they have led every step of the research process. Those closest to the pain are closest to the solution - We are the experts of our own lives! The executive summary attached summarizes their preliminary findings with the overall report being released in Summer of 2018.
During the course of 9 months the Dream Beyond Bars Fellows have:

  • Organized and led two town halls in Alameda County that engaged over 600 community members as well as elected officials and system leaders, including the District Attorney and Chief Probation Officer of Alameda County
  • Developed and administered a county-wide survey on sentencing and community-based solutions to incarceration to nearly 200 community members
  • Facilitated three focus groups in Alameda County with formerly incarcerated youth and directly impacted families
  • CURYJ hosted the 5th Annual reclaiming Cinco de Mayo at Jose de La Cruz Park bringing together over 350 community members
  • 13 formerly incarcerated young people spent a total of 220 hours at the state capitol advocating to and educating policymakers on the fair treatment of families impacted by incarceration
  • Hosted our first “Free The Youth” art contest awarding cash prizes to young artists from Alameda County
  • Provided 240 hours of life coaching for recently released young adults in Oakland

2. What’s going well? (ie: what, if any, big wins did you have this quarter)

We have the attention of the community, system stakeholders and are cultivating those relationships. Since this is a collaborative project, we have been working in close partnership with Urban Peace Movement. We have experienced much deeper and higher level integration between our work and stronger relationships with both groups of young people we serve. It is critical that the young people continue building together and inspiring all young people across Alameda County to get involved.

The outcomes listed below are being assessed by an outside evaluator and will be available in the Fall. We will send the results to you upon their completion.

Reduction in racial/ethnic disparities Increased collaboration among partners Increased access and ability of youth leaders to inform juvenile justice systems change A culture shift from punishment and punitive to rehabilitation and healing Reduction in racial/ethnic disparities Increased collaboration among partners Increased access and ability of youth leaders to inform juvenile justice systems change Reduction in adult direct files and 707b fitness hearing\ Reduction in secure facility placements Reduction in out-of home placements

3. What’s next? (where are you headed next quarter?)

We are growing our taskforce to include both intermediaries and base building organizations. We are also in the midst of preparing to go into the next stage of our campaign.

4. Where do you need help? (ie: is there an ask you have of us or our members? for
instance, trying to hire someone or find a certain type of partners. 
Are there any upcoming volunteer opportunities or special events that you want to
share with our members?

We are hosting our second major events and awards ceremony October 20, 2018 at the California Ballroom in Oakland. It is the kick off of our capital campaign and we are preparing to facilitate our first fund-a-need. We are looking for members to attend, support and lend expertise. In addition to the fund-a-need we will be having a silent auction and we need leads to secure auction items. We are also looking for new board members and event committee members.