Thanks to all your work, SB 882 passed out of the State Senate – with a vote of 24-14 – and now has to make it through the Assembly! The bill will be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee Tuesday, June 28th at 9AM. Please use the sample below to submit a letter of support. And, if you can get to Sacrmento, please come out for Tuesday’s hearing at the State Capitol.
THIS BILL WILL ENSURE THAT YOUTH UNDER 18 ARE NO LONGER CHARGED WITH A CRIME FOR RIDING PUBLIC TRANSIT WITHOUT A FARE. WE KNOW THAT MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY THIS ISSUE. IN LOS ANGELES ALONE – UNTIL WE WON A FULL DIVERSION FROM COURT FOR YOUTH FARE EVASION – THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF TICKETING FOR PEOPLE UNDER 18 (10,000 TICKETS A YEAR MOSTLY ISSUED AS STUDENTS WERE GOING TO AND FROM SCHOOL) WAS FOR FARE EVASION.
Nearly all of us at the Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) have been directly hit by the high costs – both personal and financial – of transit evasion tickets and arrest, including the extreme fines, lost time at school and work for court, a burdensome and confusing diversion program here in our County, and even warrants for unpaid fines resulting in being locked up. Three years ago, we began to organize for decriminalizing fare evasion, and that’s when we discovered that the number one cause of juvenile citations in L.A. County – as many as 10,000 tickets a year – was for fare evasion. We won a diversion process in LA, but have still struggled to make the process clear and accessible. Based on these experiences, SB 882 is so important and personal to us.
PLEASE FAX IN A LETTER FOR THE STATE ASSEMBLY BY 4PM ON THURSDAY, JUNE 23rd and e-mail us a copy, so we can make sure it gets recorded (email@example.com):
The Honorable Reginald B. Jones-Sawyer Sr.
Chair, Assembly Committee on Public Safety
1020 N Street (LOB), Room 111
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Co-Sponsorship of SB 882
Dear Chairman Jones-Sawyer:
YOUR ORGANIZATION is in sull support of Senate Bill 882 to prevent youth under 18 from being charged with a penal code infraction for riding transit without fare. We urge you to pass this important legislation.
DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION AND HOW YOU ARE IMPACTED BY YOUTH TICKETING AND ARRESTS FOR FARE EVASION.
California law allows young people to have charges brought against them for a fare evasion ticket, which may result in court appearances, suspended driver’s licenses, and even time in juvenile detention. As fare evasion is almost always committed by people who don’t have adequate funds needed to access public transportation, addressing fare evasion through the penal code essentially criminalizes youth for poverty.
SB 882 does not eliminate the ability of youth to be cited and fined for fare evasion. It simply ends the practice of punishing children and young people for fare evasion in our penal code and in our detention and probation systems. By ending the criminalization of youth who ride public transit without paying the fare, we can reduce the likelihood that they will enter the criminal justice system, reduce the expense of trying and detaining youth, and eliminate the life-altering impacts that court and detention have a young person’s life chances.
For all these reasons, YOUR ORGANIZATION urges you to pass SB 882.